2 more surrender in Monessen attempted murder

Renatta Signorini
| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

One of five suspects in an attempted homicide in Monessen remained at large late Wednesday as police conducted interviews to crack a homicide case and a subsequent shooting.

Brothers Joshua Stepoli, 18, and Terrance Stepoli, 20, both of 2060 Grand Blvd., Monessen, surrendered to police Wednesday afternoon. The were arraigned and are being held at the Westmoreland County jail in lieu of $100,000 straight cash bond each.

Antoine Hairston, 19, of 673 McMahon Avenue, Monessen, had not been arrested late Wednesday.

The Stepolis, Hairston and two others are accused of chasing and shooting at a man who they believed had implicated them in the murder of another man Monday.

Arrested Tuesday in connection with the alleged attempted homicide was Earl V. Pinkney, 18, of 617 Chestnut St., Monessen. He was arraigned and remains in the Westmoreland County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Samone Stepoli, 21, also of Grand Boulevard, turned herself in Tuesday afternoon. She posted $10,000 bail Wednesday.

Preliminary hearings for Pinkney and Joshua, Terrance and Samone Stepoli are scheduled before Monessen District Judge Joseph Dalfonso on Dec. 14. All five suspects are charged with attempted homicide, attempted aggravated assault and two conspiracy charges for allegedly attacking Jaisen Irwin around 4 p.m. Monday, according to court documents.

Irwin told police the group chased and shot at him near the Elks Club on Knox Avenue and Highland Manor, accusing him of implicating them in the fatal shooting Monday of Chris Fincik, 36, at his Maple Avenue home.

Fincik was shot when he answered his door around 12:25 a.m. Monday. No charges had been filed in his death late Wednesday.

Jim Stepoli, the father of three suspects, told WPXI-TV Wednesday that Samone, Terrance and Josh had nothing to do with Fincik's death or the attempted homicide.

“None of my three children were ever involved with any gunplay or anything of that nature,” he said. “My daughter had absolutely nothing to do with this.”

He said witnesses at preliminary hearings will exonerate the three.

“The truth will come out, and almost every last one of them charges will be dismissed,” Jim Stepoli said.

Rachel Manges told police she saw a person walking down a grassy hill behind Fincik's home when she visited him around the time of the murder, according to an affidavit attached to one of four search warrants filed in connection with the cases. Once she went inside, Fincik held the door shut with both hands.

Gunshots rang out and she fled, leaving a bleeding Fincik lying on the floor, according to the affidavit. Police did not provide an age or address for Manges.

Police sought physical evidence from Fincik's home, including bullets, shell casings, weapons, footwear and telephones. In the warrant affidavit police said they saw money sitting on a kitchen table next to suspected drugs.

From Pinkney's Chestnut Street home, police seized multiple firearms, live and empty rounds and boxes of ammunition along with money, a shopping bag with marijuana residue, a driver's license and a credit card. The guns include a rifle, shotgun and pistol, according to a search warrant inventory.

A final search warrant is for the vehicle police said Samone Stepoli was driving during the alleged attempted homicide. An inventory has not been filed.

Samone Stepoli took to Twitter Wednesday afternoon to decry her involvement.

“So now I'm the getaway driver??,” she tweeted. “Yall are dumb as hell!! Get a life! I don't got the time for you worthless bums...”

Joshua and Terrance Stepoli played football and basketball for the Monessen Greyhounds and Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions. Terrance Stepoli also ran track. Samone Stepoli played basketball for the Greyhounds, and Pinkney played basketball for Monessen.

Hairston and the Stepoli brothers have prior criminal arrests ranging from loitering and disorderly conduct to unlawful possession of a firearm. Washington County Judge Katherine Emery issued bench warrants for parole violations for the Stepoli brothers Tuesday in connection with firearms charges.

Court records show Fincik has been in and out of jail since 1995, mostly on drug charges. He was awaiting trial in both Washington and Westmoreland counties.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com. Staff writers Rick Bruni Jr. and Jennifer Reeger contributed.

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