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Clairton man Wright is found guilty in slaying

Michael DiVittorio
| Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012

A Clairton man was found guilty as charged for his role in the death of a fellow city resident.

Keith Wright, 26, stood silently in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski's courtroom Friday as a jury foreman delivered the guilty verdict of murder in the second degree, burglary and criminal conspiracy.

Charges stem from an incident on Jan. 1, 2011 around 12:55 a.m. along the 2300 block of Lincoln Avenue. Tauvea Hurt, 20, was shot during the first hour of the new year.

Hurt died at Jefferson Regional Medical Center that day shortly before 2 a.m. as the result of nine gunshot wounds to the back and upper extremities. It was the first homicide of 2011 in Allegheny County.

Keith Wright's brother Lindsey Wright, 32, of McKeesport, also faces the same charges as well as carrying firearms without a license and person not to possess, use, manufacture or control firearms.

The brothers were scheduled to go on trial Monday morning and both were in the courtroom when the judge granted the defense's motion to try them separately.

Assistant district attorney Lisa Pellegrini is prosecuting the case. Christy Patricia Foreman is representing Keith Wright and Patrick Thomassey is representing Lindsey Wright.

The brothers went to a New Year's Eve party around midnight wearing masks and dark clothing.

Keith Wright presented a defense of being under duress, portraying Lindsey Wright as the shooter.

Pellegrini said Keith Wright testified that his brother did not know what Hurt looked like, and Keith must have pointed him out during the incident.

The prosecution argued Keith may have operated as a lookout, and did nothing to prevent Hurt's death.

Municipal Court Judge James Hanley held all charges against the Wright brothers at a preliminary hearing in March.

Hurt was one of four suspects in an Oct. 26, 2010 shooting in the 2700 block of Lincoln Avenue in which Keith Wright was shot in the face.

Prior to the reading of the verdict, the judge instructed attendees that this was an emotional case, and lauded the public and jury for their conduct.

A tearful Tera Smith, Hurt's mother, managed to say "justice was served" as she headed out of the courthouse with other family members.

Borkowski scheduled Keith Wright's sentencing for May 23.

Pellegrini said a trial date for Lindsey Wright could be scheduled on Monday.

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