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Attorney says woman not involved in attempted shooting

| Saturday, July 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The lawyer for a Monessen woman said on Friday her client didn't take part in an attempted murder last year.

Police said Samone Stepoli, 21, was one of a group of five people who tried to kill a Monessen man they claimed spread rumors about another man's involvement in an earlier murder.

The lawyer for Stepoli has asked that a Westmoreland County judge dismiss criminal charges related to the Dec. 3 attempted shooting of Jaisen Irwin, 19.

Irwin claimed the incident occurred as he sat with a friend on a ledge just outside Highland Manor in Monessen. Irwin testified at a preliminary hearing that a car driven by Stepoli pulled up nearby and that her brother, Terrance Stepoli, 21, called him names and claimed he had spread rumors about a slaying of another man earlier that day.

Samone Stepoli's defense lawyer, Patricia Elliott, claimed in court documents filed Friday that her client was not involved in the attempt to shoot Irwin.

Elliott said Samone Stepoli never left her car and tried to call one of her co-defendants charged in the shooting back to the vehicle.

“… the record to date suggests only that she was either driving a vehicle or seated in a vehicle … from which several individuals alighted,” Elliott wrote.

Police contend the attempt on Irwin was in retaliation for allegations that he spread rumors that another Stepoli sibling, Joshua, shot and killed 36-year-old Chris “Snaxx” Fincik.

Joshua Stepoli, 19, was not charged in connection with Fincik's murder.

He was charged, along with his siblings and two others, in connection with the attempted shooting of Irwin.

Also charged with the shooting attempt were Earl Pinkney, 19, of Monessen and Antoine Hairston, 19, of Monessen.

Pinkney and Chalsee L. Hughes, 20, of Duquesne, are awaiting trial on robbery and murder charges in connection with the Finick homicide.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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