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Valley News Dispatch

Arnold man convicted of gunning down New Kensington man during 2015 family fight

Chuck Biedka
| Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, 9:42 p.m.
Erik Lamont Reed Jr.
Erik Lamont Reed Jr.
Donald Lee Williams
Donald Lee Williams

A Westmoreland County jury convicted Arnold man of the shooting death of a New Kensington man during a neighborhood street fight almost two years ago.

A jury deliberated almost four hours and found Erik Lamont Reed Jr. , 20, guilty of first-degree murder, said Assistant District Attorney Peter Michael Caravello.

Reed was 18 at the time of the Dec. 15, 2015, killing of Donald Lee Williams, 51, of the 1300 block of Taylor Avenue, New Kensington.

Williams was shot once in the torso at about 10:20 p.m. along the 1400 block of Taylor Avenue in Arnold, near Reed's residence.

The disturbance started with a fight between daughters of the Williams and Reed families, according to testimony given by Williams' widow, Rosella Williams, at an earlier preliminary hearing. Then the fathers got involved, she said.

Rosella Williams testified earlier that she saw Reed with a pistol in his pocket.

She said she saw her husband wrestling on the ground with Reed's stepfather. Williams was on top when the younger Reed walked over, knelt down and shot him once, she said.

The defense didn't call any witnesses during the preliminary hearing but another defense attorney, Ralph David Karsh, called about five witnesses during the trial.

Karsh, who took over the defense in August 2016, didn't return calls for comment Friday afternoon.

Throughout the trial, Reed's mother and stepfather were present, Caravello said. He called on 10 or so witnesses to testify.

Reed also was found guilty of having a pistol without a permit.

Judge Rita D. Hathaway ordered a pre-sentence investigation and said sentencing would happen within about 90 days.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711 or or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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