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Step-grandson accused in Hayden Sr. slay case

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

Timothy Alan Large Jr., of Forward Township, described in gruesome detail how he shot his stepgrandfather in the head and disposed of his body, police say.

Large Jr., who police said confessed to shooting and killing his step-grandfather and dumping the body in a river, was charged Tuesday with criminal homicide.

Large Jr., 30, of Sunnyside Hollow Road, also was charged with abuse of a corpse and related crimes in the death of Vernon Hayden Sr., 71, of Elizabeth Township.

Hayden, whose body has not been recovered, has not been seen by family members since Dec. 6.

Large, who was awaiting arraignment in Night Court, has been in jail since Dec. 11, when Hayden's pickup truck was found parked outside the home of Large's girlfriend in Brentwood.

"We have a lot of mixed feelings," Hayden's daughter-in-law, Linda Hayden, said after detectives told the family about the arrest.

"We need to get Pappy recovered so we can get some closure. It's been over a month, and we still have no body to say good-bye to," Hayden said.

She said Large is the son of Timothy Large Sr., who was a baby when his mother married Vernon Hayden.

According to a criminal complaint, Timothy Large Jr. told Allegheny County homicide detectives:

He entered Hayden's home late on Dec. 7 with the intent of stealing his pickup truck. Hayden was asleep on the sofa but awoke as Large sat on a chair about six feet away.

Large, who accused Hayden of abusing Large's grandmother and another relative, took a rifle from its storage area behind the chair and fired a single shot into the side of Hayden's head.

He wrapped Hayden's body in a blanket and carried it to the truck along with a bag of candy, some frozen food and dog food.

Large collected several blood-spattered items from the home and used a second blanket to clean blood off the kitchen floor before driving to his own home where he fed his dogs. He then drove to a burned house trailer on Sunnyside Hollow Road where he tied a cement block around Hayden's body.

It was still dark when he drove about 6 miles to the aquatorium recreational facility in Monongahela, where he went down the boat ramp, waded into the Monongahela River and released Hayden's body.

Large drove to Uniontown, where he sold the rifle and a shotgun and used the money to buy marijuana and gasoline. He then drove to Somerset County, where his family owns summer cottages, and dumped the truck cap and bloody items.

"We feel bad for the other side of the family because it's probably pretty hard on them," Linda Hayden said.

"Now, with everything out in the open, hopefully, we can go back to being one family again. They aren't responsible for what he has done. He's a grown man. He chose the life he is leading."

She praised county homicide detectives and members of the Monongahela Dive Team who have made two attempts to search the river for her father-in-law's body.

The efforts failed because of high water, poor visibility and generally poor river conditions, but Hayden said detectives are hopeful that the body will surface soon.

Court records show Large - who admitted using Vernon Hayden's ATM card and withdrawing $500 from the bank - was convicted of aggravated assault in Somerset County in 1996 when, according to family members, he shot a man in the back several times during an argument.

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