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Teen shot during a drug deal, witness says

| Thursday, Oct. 28, 2004, 12:00 p.m.

An 18-year-old Penn Hills resident was shot to death hours after his grandmother died, a friend testified Wednesday.

Robert Pryor, 18, of Stotler Road, Penn Hills, died Oct. 2 in a hail of gunfire during a drug deal, said Tracy Nolan Jr., 20, of Penn Hills.

"His grandmother had died that morning, and I was taking him out to eat," Nolan said.

Allegheny County Coroner's Solicitor Timothy Uhrich ordered that Terrance Boyd, 17, of Penn Vista Drive, Penn Hills, be tried as an adult on a homicide charge in connection with Pryor's death. A simultaneous hearing for Albert Frazier, 19, of Homewood, who also is charged with the slaying, was rescheduled for noon Nov. 24 because his lawyer was not available.

Staring at Boyd, Nolan described himself and Pryor as best friends, and said they spent part of every day together. On the afternoon of Oct. 2, Nolan went to Pryor's home and the two went for a drive in Nolan's 1994 Lexus, said Nolan, the only witness to testify.

He said they made a stop before going to the restaurant for dinner.

"We were meeting Albert Frazier because he wanted to buy some marijuana from Robert," Nolan said.

With Nolan at the wheel, the pair drove through Penn Hills, talking on cell phones with Frazier. Eventually they met him on Conestoga Street, where Frazier and an unidentified man jumped into the back seat of the Lexus, Nolan said.

Nolan said he felt something on the back of his neck and saw that Frazier had a large handgun pointed at his head.

"He said 'Don't move,'" Nolan testified.

He said Boyd was standing in front of the car, holding a large semi-automatic weapon that Nolan described as a "tommy gun." No more words were exchanged as the men in the back seat of the Lexus opened fire, Nolan testified.

Nolan said he "floored the car" in a panic, sending it plummeting over a nearby hillside onto Hochberg Street. As the car went over the hillside, all four men bailed out and the gunmen fled.

"I saw Robert pass out," said Nolan, who ran to a nearby home for help. Pryor was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.

Nolan, who was shot several times in the back, was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, Oakland. He is still undergoing rehabilitation to regain movement in his hands.

Pryor's mother, Theresa King, broke down during testimony about her son's wounds and was taken out of the courtroom. She declined comment.

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