Share This Page

4 Westmoreland County Prison inmates disciplined for roles in fight

| Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Four Westmoreland County Prison inmates have been disciplined for their roles in a fight that sent one of the prisoners to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment.

Warden John Walton said Earl V. Pinkney, 19, of Monessen and three other inmates each will spend 120 days in “disciplinary segregation” as a result of the Sept. 8 fight that prison officials believe was planned.

Pinkney was beaten outside the range of surveillance cameras. Walton said he didn't know whether Pinkney was punched, hit with an object, kicked or some combination.

Sheriff Jon Held said Pinkney began to suffer seizures as a result of the beating.

He was taken by medical helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian, where he was treated for minor injuries. A sheriff's deputy accompanied Pinkney on the helicopter trip to Pittsburgh, and deputies provided 24-hour security in his hospital room, Walton said.

Pinkney returned to the jail on Sept. 10, the warden said.

Surveillance video showed Pinkney entering an empty cell on the prison's upper level, though he had been restricted to the facility's lower level, where his cell was located.

Walton said last week that officials had not determined a motive for the beating.

“We feel that this was set up,” Walton said. “This is where they agreed that they were going to fight.”

Walton declined to reveal the names of the three other inmates and would not comment about what provoked the confrontation.

Restricted housing limits inmates to only one hour a day outside their cell, Walton said.

Pinkney is accused of killing Chris “Snaxx” Fincik, 36, on Dec. 3, 2012. Fincik was found dead near the front door of his Maple Avenue home in Monessen with gunshot wounds in the chest, abdomen and an arm, according to investigators.

Walton said the findings of his internal probe have been forwarded to District Attorney John Peck, who said his office will determine if criminal charges are warranted.

Staff writer Rich Cholodofsky contributed. Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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.