Separate trials ordered in Monessen killing
A Monessen man accused of murder during a robbery attempt in late 2012 will have a separate trial from the woman police said purchased the bullets used.
Westmoreland County Judge Al Bell ruled on Thursday that it would be prejudicial for jurors to hear statements made to police by Chalsee Hughes, 19, that linked Earl Pinkney to the Dec. 3, 2012, shooting of Chris “Snaxx” Fincik in Monessen.
Fincik, 36, was shot in the chest, abdomen and right arm. His body was discovered outside his home, where police found heroin, cocaine and more than $3,200.
Hughes of Duquesne is charged with homicide. Police contend that a day before the shooting, she purchased the bullets in a Wal-Mart, according to court records.
Hughes told police she knew that Pinkney and two other men intended to use the bullets to commit a robbery, court records show.
Bell said evidence indicates that Hughes' statements to the police came after an alleged conspiracy and crime.
“If in fact that is true, then Ms. Hughes' statements could not be used against Mr. Pinkney at trial,” Bell wrote.
But the judge found there was sufficient evidence for Pinkney's case to go to trial. Bell ruled that evidence suggested Pinkney had access to an AK-47, a gun similar to the one used to kill Fincik, and that he told police he was present with two other men when the fatal shots were fired.
Bell determined that Pinkney's confession to police can be used against him at trial.
According to court records, Pinkney initially denied any involvement in the shooting. But after speaking with his father, he told police he was there when Fincik was killed but was under the influence of drugs at the time and didn't remember details of the shooting.
After his arrest on another charge, Pinkney told police he saw another man shoot Fincik and that he ran home after hearing the shots.
Murder charges have been filed only against Pinkney and Hughes.
Dates for their trials have not been scheduled.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Donora man acquitted of trying to kill rival
- Jeannette council rejects referendum on switch to volunteer fire department
- Megan’s Law offender charged in sex assaults in Greensburg
- Greensburg state trooper’s heroism honored
- Impact on Route 30 traffic at Mountain Inn cited in gas station rejection
- Franklin Regional wants firing of music instructor Wonderling to be upheld
- Westmoreland Democrat chairman rips commissioner Courtney over golf event
- Firing into Fayette bar could get man 10 years; 2 were hit
- Water utility to acquire private outfit in Ligonier Township
- Chemical fire smolders in rolloff container inYukon
- Scottdale Fall Festival committee to meet