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Sharpsburg man in custody in killing of aunt's fiance

Police charged Michael Lapaglia, 23, of Sharpsburg with homicide, burglary and other charges because they suspect he fatally shot John Parkes Jr., 59, in his home in Kennedy on Monday, July 21, 2014, and stole jewelry.
By Margaret Harding
Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 8:33 a.m.
 

A man accused of killing his aunt's fiance and stealing jewelry from their Kennedy home is in custody and is charged with drug offenses, online court records show.

A district judge arraigned Michael Lapaglia, 23, of Sharpsburg on charges of homicide, robbery and burglary, and ordered him held without bail in the Allegheny County Jail. Stowe police charged Lapaglia on Tuesday with drug possession and possession with intent to deliver against, records show.

Allegheny County police accused Lapaglia of shooting John Parkes Jr., 59, on July 21 and stealing jewelry from the Poplar Street home Parkes shared with Lapaglia's aunt, Carol Lapaglia. She told police she suspected her nephew of stealing jewelry from the home in September 2013.

Michael Lapaglia told the Trib's news partner, WPXI, as detectives led him from county police headquarters that he has post-traumatic stress disorder. Military records indicate Lapaglia served in the Army from January 2010 to December 2011. He was deployed to Afghanistan from July to December 2010, records show.

Police obtained an arrest warrant against Lapaglia after Pittsburgh police learned he sold damaged jewelry to a Downtown jewelry store a day after the homicide. Police said the items were identified as being stolen from the Kennedy home.

A Stowe police officer wrote in a criminal complaint on separate charges that he could smell marijuana smoke when he pulled Michael Lapaglia over on a traffic stop on Island Avenue on July 25. The officer said Lapaglia admitted to smoking marijuana that day, and when the officer searched him, he found full and empty stamp bags of suspected heroin, suboxone strips and a full bag of marijuana, the complaint said. Michael Lapaglia told police he was not a heroin addict and that he was getting it for somebody.

A preliminary hearing on the homicide charge is scheduled for Aug. 15, and a hearing on the drug charges is set for Aug. 19. Court records do not indicate whether Lapaglia has an attorney.

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at mharding@tribweb.com.

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