Suspect in Homewood homicide waives right to hearing

| Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010

Steven Scales, 41, of Tarentum, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Friday on charges he ordered the killing of two men in 2000 after they allegedly sold him flour instead of cocaine.

Scales was arrested in prison in August by Pittsburgh homicide detectives investigating cold cases.

According to the affidavit, Scales gave Timothy Raines and Kenya "Buddha" Simpson $54,000 for two kilograms of cocaine. A few weeks later, Raines, 23, was fatally shot, and Simpson, 33, was critically wounded.

Scales "put the word out" weeks prior to the fatal shooting to a network of friends to notify him if they knew where Simpson and Raines were.

Scales twice pursued the victims, according to the affidavit.

In the early morning hours of July 14, 2000, Scales received a call from a barmaid at the former Traveler's Club in Homewood giving him the code phrase, "Hot Soup," letting him know the victims were in the club.

He sent Sean "Elbows" Greene, 40, and Rebecca Crux, Scales' then-girlfriend, to the club while he trolled the neighborhood a few blocks away.

The affidavit said eyewitnesses told police they saw Greene waiting in the bushes on the edge of a parking lot, where he ambushed the two victims after they left the club with a woman.

Scales, Greene and Crux met after the fatal shooting at an apartment in New Kensington where Greene admitted to shooting Simpson several times and Crux said she shot the man with him once, according to the affidavit.

District Justice Gary Havelka ordered Scales returned to the Allegheny County Jail without bail, pending trial.

In October 2005, Scales was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Scales distributed more than 300 pounds of cocaine with a wholesale value of about $4 million and a street value of two or three times that amount, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Scales and Bruno Cuzzocrea of Verona were considered the top players in a drug ring law-enforcement agencies broke up in 2002.

In December 2002, before Scales was charged in federal court in Pittsburgh, he was stopped in Nebraska by a state trooper who found $100,000 in his car. Scales denied any knowledge of the money, and it was forfeited, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In November 2003, Scales was stopped in Kansas with about 42 pounds of cocaine in his car. Charges were dismissed when authorities discovered he had already been charged by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh.

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