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Mt. Pleasant teen on trial in shooting

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Mt. Pleasant teenager went on trial on Tuesday for attempted homicide and related charges in connection with the Oct. 17 shooting of an 18-year-old Everson man in Mt. Pleasant.

Jurors listened to testimony Tuesday in the case against Keenan D. Frye, 19, who is accused of firing four shots at Joshua Grimm, 28, who was wounded in the shoulder and left side.

Grimm was treated in Excela Health Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, then flown by medical helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. He was discharged a day later.

Prosecutors allege Grimm was shot during a “bad drug deal.”

Frye's attorney, Emily Smarto, will attempt to prove that Frye shot in self defense after he was attacked by Grimm.

One of Grimm's friends, Donald Duane Scott, 28, of Scottdale, testified that he drove to Mt. Pleasant with Grimm and other friends that evening and witnessed the meeting.

He said he observed from a distance as the pair first appeared to exchange greetings and “then started tussling ... punches were thrown,” Scott testified under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Jacquelyn Knupp.

“Keenan was underneath, and Josh was on top ... and I heard, ‘Pow,' ‘Pow,' ‘Pow,' ‘Pow,' ” Scott testified.

Scott has been in jail since last month because of a probation violation related to a 2012 drug-related conviction.

Scott testified he then heard Grimm, his “best friend”, repeatedly say, “He shot me; he shot me!”

Scott said Grimm rejoined his friends, then went to the nearby emergency room for treatment.

Scott's girlfriend, Christina Depta, 30, of Scottdale, testified that she “hid in the bushes” to watch the meeting. Under questioning, she denied any knowledge of why Grimm was meeting Frye.

Under cross-examination by Smarto, Depta admitted that she was aware that another acquaintance had provided Grimm with Mace just before the meeting with Frye. Police said they recovered a smashed canister of Mace at the scene.

After the shooting, police found Frye walking along Route 31 between Mt. Pleasant and Ruffsdale. Police said a backpack Frye was carrying contained a loaded .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, numerous spent rounds, a digital scale and several plastic bags containing marijuana.

The trial will resume Wednesday before Judge Rita Hathaway.

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