Judge upholds murder charge
A Westmoreland County judge ruled Tuesday that second-degree murder charges can stand against a Duquesne woman charged with buying the bullets used in the murder of a Monessen man last year.
Judge Al Bell, in an 11-page court ruling, said prosecutors had enough evidence to take the case against Chalsee Hughes to a jury.
Hughes, 20, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, robbery and other related offenses in connection with the Dec. 3, 2012 shooting death of 36-year-old Chris “Snaxx” Fincik.
The prosecution contends Hughes agreed to purchase ammunition at a Wal-Mart store that she believed would be used in a robbery. Police said the ammunition used to kill Fincik was the same bullets purchased by Hughes.
According to court records, Hughes told police she went to Wal-Mart in Rostraver with Josh Stepoli and Antoine Hairston of Monessen who needed bullets to commit a robbery. Hughes was asked to purchase the ammunition because she had identification to prove she was 18.
The prosecution has not charged Stepoli or Hairston in connection with the Fincik murder.
Stepoli and Hairston are both in Westmoreland County Prison on $100,000 bond on attempted murder and other charges for a separate shooting incident in the city.
“From the circumstantial evidence presented there now becomes a question for the trier of fact as to whether or not the defendant intended to promote or facilitate the crime of robbery,” Bell wrote on the Hughes case.
Bell also refused to set a bond for Hughes. Hughes was ineligible for bail because she was charged with first- and second-degree murder, the prosecution said.
The prosecution has charged Earl Pinkney, 19, of Monessen, with murder in connection with the Fincik homicide.
Pinkney told police he was there at the time of the murder, but that Josh Stepoli was the shooter.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com. Staff writer Rick Bruni also contributed to this story.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Murrysville man draws on experiences in starting SAT prep academy
- Geyer helps revive Scottdale theater that bears family name
- Megan’s Law offender in Greensburg arrested when girl, 13, found hiding in shower
- Hookah bar on tap for Greensburg
- Walker: Latrobe gets ready to welcome Steelers back to camp
- Baggaley school principal seeks volunteers to build playground
- Greensburg man held for trial in hospital assault
- Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board suspends in-store tastings
- No foul play ruled in Westmoreland County train death
- Unity zoning board OKs cellphone tower project
- State grant to aid Excela plans for orthopedic center in Hempfield