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Braddock man gets life in killing over strippers

| Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, 12:00 p.m.

A Braddock man was sentenced Monday to life in prison for his role in the killing of two brothers in a dispute over strippers during a birthday party in Penn Hills.

Richard Cunningham, 25, was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder for the shooting deaths of T.C. Lyerly, 36, of Wilkinsburg and Chaoe Davis, 22, of East Liberty, on Feb. 20, 2005. Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lester G. Nauhaus imposed two concurrent life sentences on Cunningham after convicting him in July.

Cunningham was the fourth man to be sentenced to life in prison for the shooting, including triggerman Erik Surratt, 20, of North Braddock, who was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder.

The shooting erupted when party host Kevilin Middleton refused to pay one of the strippers because he didn't like her looks, prosecutors said. Middleton and Davis were celebrating Lyerly's birthday, police said.

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