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Man convicted in shooting death of taunter

| Thursday, June 14, 2001, 12:00 p.m.

An Allegheny County jury on Wednesday convicted a Homewood man of first-degree murder in the 1997 shooting death of a man who had scolded him for robbing two women minutes earlier.

The jury of seven men and five women deliberated 4 &*#189; hours before convicting Dewayne Jackson, 24, of North Braddock Avenue, in the Aug. 27, 1997 slaying of Todd Snyder, 20, of Mt. Vernon Street, also Homewood.

Snyder was shot four times while sitting on steps in the 600 block of Sterrett Street in Homewood.

The jury also convicted Jackson of robbing Melkeya Brown and her stepmother, Barbara Brown, a short time earlier on Sterrett Street. Jackson was found guilty of taking a gold chain necklace from Melkeya Brown and threatened to shoot and kill Barbara Brown when she asked him to leave them alone.

Common Pleas Judge Kathleen Durkin ordered a presentence report and directed that Jackson be returned to jail to await sentencing Aug. 28.

First-degree murder carries a mandatory life term without chance of parole. Robbery carries a possible 10 to 20 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Steve Stadtmiller said a witness heard Snyder criticize Jackson for robbing the two women, basically calling him 'a punk.'

The witness said Jackson, who still had the gun in his hand, walked across the street and shot Snyder four times, the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor said the witness observed Jackson stand over the fallen victim and shoot him again.

Jackson had told Pittsburgh Homicide Detective Dennis Logan that he robbed the women of the necklace, but denied he was armed or that he shot Snyder.

During his trial, Jackson testified he wasn't there and claimed Logan made up the statement.

Stadtmiller argued to the jury that if Logan was going to make up a statement he would surely have included an admission by the defendant that he shot the victim.

Robert Baird can be reached at (412) 391-8650.



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