Second man arrested in 2011 Connellsville murder
By Mark Hofmann
Published: Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, 4:30 p.m.
Police on Monday arrested a second man in connection to a 2011 murder of a Connellsville man. The suspect is the son of a man arrested last week.
Robert Leroy Daniels III, 18, of 233B E. Apple St., Connellsville, was arraigned on Monday afternoon by District Judge Ronald Haggerty Jr. in connection with the death of David Gida, 56.
Daniels was charged with criminal homicide, robbery, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property — the same charges filed against his father, Robert Leroy Daniels Jr., 42, of Connellsville, on Thursday. However, Robert Daniels III received an additional charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
Gida was found by his son on June 8, 2011, in his apartment at 304 Rear South Pittsburgh St. in Connellsville.
Police said Gida had been stabbed in the neck several times, but a murder weapon was not found.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, police said items had been removed from Gida's body, specifically a gold necklace and a silver ring. Other items had been removed from his apartment.
The case remained unsolved until last week when Connellsville police Sgt. Ryan Reese and Trooper John Marshall of the state police at Uniontown gained information that implicated Robert Daniels Jr. in the homicide.
During questioning last week, the elder Daniels admitted he was in Gida's apartment on the night of June 7 and early morning hours of June 8, Connellsville police said. After drinking alcohol and taking several pills, he picked up a knife from the kitchen table and stabbed Gida twice in the neck, police said.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Robert Daniels III was interviewed by police last week and admitted his involvement in the homicide. He knew specific details of the homicide, the placement of the body and the items stolen from Gida.
“I don't anticipate any more persons of interest in this case,” said Connellsville police Chief James Capitos, who added that the case is still under investigation pertaining to physical evidence.
According to the affidavit, police said Robert Daniels Jr. stole the necklace and the silver ring as well as $50 and a baseball worth about $300.
Capitos said he couldn't elaborate on the details of the investigation of the physical evidence.
Under questioning from Haggerty during Monday's arraignment, Robert Daniels III denied he was addicted to drugs or alcohol and also denied having a history of mental illness; however, an unidentified relative in the courtroom told Haggerty that the younger Daniels has been treated for a bipolar disorder, ADHD and depression.
Robert Daniels III neither confirmed nor denied that statement.
A preliminary hearing for Robert Daniels III is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday before Haggerty. Robert Daniels Jr.'s hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday before Haggerty.
Both men were denied bail and are lodged in the Fayette County Prison.
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or email@example.com.
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