Case against a McKeesport man accused in Downtown stabbing heads to court |

Case against a McKeesport man accused in Downtown stabbing heads to court

Tom Davidson
Police lead a man suspected in the stabbing near Smithfield St. and Sixth Ave. to a cruiser outside of Police Headquarters on Aug. 8, 2019.
James Wyatt, 23 of McKeesport is charged with homicide and other crimes in connection with the stabbing.
Police work the scene of a reported stabbing near Smithfield St. and Sixth Ave. on Aug. 8, 2019.

The case against a McKeesport man accused in an Aug. 8 double stabbing Downtown that killed one woman and injured another will move to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, a Pittsburgh district judge ruled Friday.

James Wyatt, 23, had a preliminary hearing Friday.

He is charged with homicide, aggravated assault and a weapons violation.

Wyatt is accused of killing Janice Purdue-Dance, 61, of Erie, by stabbing her twice in the neck. Police say that Wyatt attacked her while she was unconscious and being checked by a Pittsburgh police officer, who found her at a bus stop at Sixth Avenue and Smithfield Street. Wyatt then stabbed another woman before he was subdued by the officer, according to a criminal complaint.

Purdue-Dance died at UPMC Mercy Hospital. The other woman was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The stabbings were an apparent random act of violence, Pittsburgh police violent crimes unit Commander Victor Joseph said at the time.

Wyatt is being defended by Blaine Jones, who didn’t immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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