Statements ruled admissible at trial for suspect in Youngwood man’s fatal stabbing
Incriminating statements made by a Youngwood man charged in connection with a 2017 stabbing death are admissible at trial, a Westmoreland County judge ruled.
Judge Christopher Feliciani this week denied a motion by an attorney for Christopher David, 41, to suppress several confessions the suspect allegedly made to investigators after the 2017 death of Matthew Genard. 50.
David and three others are accused of homicide, robbery and conspiracy in an alleged plot to rob Genard of drugs and money at a Youngwood home. Investigators contend David was the ringleader.
Attorney James Robinson argued that David has a long history of drug addiction and could not voluntarily consent to an interview with police.
Troopers testified during an August pretrial hearing that David gave a statement to police the day after Genard’s death and at least two more times, including one at the jail two weeks after his arrest. Troopers testified that David admitted to his alleged role in the plot during a couple of interviews. David did not appear to be under the influence of drugs during any of those interviews, troopers said.
Feliciani said there was no evidence presented at that pretrial hearing to show David was affected by drugs or alcohol during the interviews. The judge ruled that David “knowingly and voluntarily” made the statements to police.
“At all relevant times, it appears to this court that Mr. David had sufficient mental capacity to know what he was saying and to have voluntarily intended to say it,” Feliciani wrote.
David and his three co-defendants — Jason Sullenberger, 41, Michael Covington Jr., 21, and Linda Kay Quidetto, 41, all of Youngwood — are awaiting trial.
Investigators said as the three men met with Genard, David put him in a choke hold, exposing his back to allow Sullenberger and Covington to repeatedly stab him. Genard was stabbed as many as 20 times, according to police.
The men left with Genard’s clothes, two bricks of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and about $1,100, police said.
Feliciani in June rejected a similar claim raised by Sullenberger, who also sought to have his confessions barred from evidence. Sullenberger claimed he was under the influence of drugs when he spoke to police.
Trial dates have not been scheduled.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .