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July trial set for suspect in murder of Pitt student Alina Sheykhet

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Monday, April 16, 2018, 9:48 p.m.
Matthew Darby
Matthew Darby
Alina Sheykhet
Alina Sheykhet

The trial of a man accused of killing a Pitt student last year is scheduled to start in late July.

Matthew Darby, 21, of Greensburg is charged with beating and stabbing Alina Sheykhet, 20, Oct. 8 in her Oakland apartment.

Jury selection in his trial is set to start the morning of July 30, according to court records.

Allegheny County prosecutors announced in February that they will seek the death penalty against Darby if he is convicted of first-degree murder. Darby allegedly broke into Sheykhet's apartment, killed her and fled, taking her cellphone with him. He was arrested in Myrtle Beach three days later.

District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.'s office cited the additional crimes — the break-in and theft of the cell phone — as aggravating circumstances, among others, toward seeking the death penalty.

The death penalty has not been carried out in Pennsylvania since 1999. In 2015, Gov. Tom Wolf in 2015 put a moratorium on executions pending completion of a study of Pennsylvania's application of capital punishment.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, or on Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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