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Testimony places alleged murder weapon in Latrobe man’s home |

Testimony places alleged murder weapon in Latrobe man’s home

Rich Cholodofsky

The alleged murder weapon and two other guns had been seen in the home of a Latrobe man who prosecutors contend helped plot a robbery that left another friend dead, according to testimony Wednesday in the trial of Colin Gearhart.

Gearhart, 19, is charged with second-degree murder and other offenses in connection with the Jan. 20, 2016, robbery that resulted in the shooting death of 20-year-old Daniel McNerny.

Prosecutors contend Gearhart, along with two other men, plotted the robbery of a Pittsburgh-area drug dealer as retaliation for a verbal slight made against one of the group’s friends. McNerny was shot and killed when he attempted to intervene as a masked man held two others at gunpoint in front of Gearhart’s home.

Benjamin Irvin, 21, of Blairsville, testified Wednesday he was regular visitor at Gearhart’s St. Clair Street home where a group of friends would gather to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol. He told jurors he saw Gearhart, along with Austin Krinock and Zachary McGrath, previously handle the guns.

“I saw them in Colin Gearhart’s bedroom,” Irvin testified.

Jurors on Wednesday also heard from witnesses who said McGrath told them about his involvement in the shooting, helped him to avoid capture and discard the alleged murder weapon.

Gearhart has maintained he did not participate in the robbery plot.

Prosecutors are expected to continue presenting evidence against Gearhart when the trial reconvenes Thursday before Common Pleas Court Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio.

Krinock, now 19, of Johnstown, and McGrath, 23, of Latrobe have each been convicted of second-degree murder. McGrath faces a mandatory life prison term when he is sentenced later this year. Krinock is serving a sentence of 34 years to life in prison.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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