Monessen trio wants attempted murder charges dropped
Three Monessen siblings were in court on Tuesday to ask a Westmoreland County judge to dismiss attempted murder charges against them.
Brothers Joshua and Terrence Stepoli and their sister, Samone Stepoli, are charged along with two other men in connection with the attempted shooting of Jaisen Irwin outside his Monessen home.
Prosecutors contend the group attacked Irwin, 19, believing he had spread rumors that Joshua Stepoli, 19, was involved in the fatal shooting of Chris “Snaxx” Fincik hours earlier.
In court on Tuesday, attorneys for the three Stepoli siblings argued there was not enough evidence to find they conspired to commit a crime against Irwin.
“There is no evidence he took place in a conspiracy to injure or hurt Mr. Irwin. There is no evidence he was carrying a gun,” said Joshua Stepoli's lawyer, Michael DeMatt.
The attorneys for Terrence and Samone Stepoli made similar arguments and said their clients did not know the two other suspects carried guns and intended to use them against Irwin.
District Attorney John Peck said there is enough circumstantial evidence to take the case to a jury.
Peck said Samone and Joshua Stepoli drove with Earl Pinkney and Antoine Hairston to Irwin's home to confront him about the Fincik killing.
“It's quite a coincidence they all arrived at the same time to question Mr. Irwin and two of them have guns. They all came down there for a reason, 16 hours after Chris Fincik was killed,” Peck said,
Westmoreland County Judge Al Bell ordered attorneys to submit written legal arguments and said he will rule in the case at a later date.
Fincik, 36, was gunned down in the early morning hours of Dec. 4, 2012.
Pinkney, 19, of Monessen and Chalsee Hughes, 20, of Duquesne, were charged with Fincik's death. Hughes is accused of purchasing the bullets used in the shooting.
In a statement to police, Pinkney implicated Joshua Stepoli and Hairston, 19, of Monessen in Fincik's death. Neither man has been charged in connection with the slaying.
Pinkney and Hairston are facing attempted murder charges for the incident involving Irwin. Their cases are pending.
Samone Stepoli, 22, is free on $10,000 bail while she awaits trial. Terrence Stepoli, 21, and his brother are in jail awaiting trial in lieu of a $100,000 bond each.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
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.
- Previously convicted of embezzlement, Mt. Pleasant postal worker accused of mail theft
- Sale of former SCI Greensburg prison to advance despite lawmakers’ objections
- Blaze rips through Salem house
- Ligonier Township planners offer suggested changes to zoning proposal
- Fast-growing Americans for Prosperity opens location in Greensburg
- Mt. Pleasant Business District Authority picks officers
- Police claim woman stabbed husband at their Jeannette business
- $7.6M buyout at Hempfield prison site clouds sale
- Unity lawyer to vie for Westmoreland County judgeship
- Court in the Classroom program provides insight for Norwin High School students
- Jeannette teen, charged with killing another, took ‘selfie’ with body, court papers say