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Monessen man's homicide trial set

| Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, 10:45 p.m.

Jury selection for a Monessen man accused in two cases of homicide and attempted homicide is set to begin Sept. 8.

Attorneys expect the trial for Earl Vatelle Pinkney, 20, to last five or six days.

Pinkney is accused of shooting and killing Chris “Snaxx” Fincik, 36, on Dec. 2, 2012, at Fincik's Monessen home. Police say that hours after the slaying, he was part of a group that shot at another Monessen man who the group believed spread rumors about their alleged involvement in Fincik's death.

Prosecutors contend:

• Pinkney and two other men who have not been charged in Fincik's death went to Fincik's home on Dec. 2, 2012, to rob him and fired four shots through a closed door. Fincik, a known drug dealer, had heroin, cocaine and more than $3,100 in his home, according to police.

Pinkney is charged with homicide, aggravated assault, conspiracy, robbery and related charges.

Chalsee Hughes, 21, of Duquesne was dating Pinkney and was convicted in July of purchasing the bullets used in the homicide. She is serving a sentence of 4 12 to nine years in a state prison.

Two people arrested in Fincik's death identified Joshua Stepoli, 20, and Antoine Hairston, 21, as being involved in the fatal shooting, according to investigators. Neither man has been charged in the case.

• Pinkney was with three other men and a woman, all of Monessen, who on Dec. 3, 2012, allegedly shot at a city teenager they believed spread rumors of the group's alleged involvement in Fincik's death. The teen was not hurt.

Pinkney is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, conspiracy and related charges in that case.

Those arrested in the attempted homicide case are: Stepoli; his brother, Terrance Stepoli, 22; their sister Samone Stepoli, 23; Hairston; and Pinkney.

The Stepoli brothers and Hairston pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy charges under a plea bargain. They were granted time served since their December 2012 arrests and were released to home electronic monitoring and probation. Hairston's parole has been revoked because new charges were filed against him after his release from jail.

A pretrial conference is set for Monday in Samone Stepoli's case.

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

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