2 plead guilty in Pittsburgh housemate’s death
Two men pleaded guilty Monday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to third-degree murder and other charges in connection with a man’s beating in December 2017, according to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.
Marlon Watts and Klayton Aaron Massie, both 31, are scheduled to be sentenced in October.
Watts and Massey had lived with Francis Zbonzy, 53, at a Dean Street home in Pittsburgh’s Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar neighborhood.
Moses Edwards, who owned the home, told police that Watts, Massie and Zbony had been fighting at various points in the day on Dec. 8, 2017, according to criminal complaints.
The fighting started when Zbonzy swung a liquor bottle at Watts, complaints said. Edwards broke up the fighting after Massie got involved, after which Zbonzy retreated to an upstairs bedroom and Massie went to the basement to get a pickaxe, according to complaints.
Massie told police he used the pickax to break down the door to Zbonzy’s room. Zbonzy swung at Massie twice and Massie told police he punched Zbonzy twice, knocked him out and was unable to awaken him.
That’s when police responded to the disturbance and began sorting out what happened.
Watts and Massie were initially charged because of the fight, but criminal homicide charges were added when Zbonzy died more than seven months later on July 25, 2018. Authorities attributed his death to a traumatic brain injury suffered on Dec. 8, 2017.
On Monday, Massie pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, unlawful restraint and possession of an instrument of crime. Watts pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and unlawful restraint.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .