Monessen trio wants attempted murder charges dropped
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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