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Crafton man charged with fatal shooting in New Kensington

Chuck Biedka
| Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A 19-year-old Crafton man who was out of jail on bond was charged Monday with a fatally shooting a Cleveland man in New Kensington last month.

Anthony Lamar "Tone" McWhite, who was staying in the 300 block of Fifth Avenue, New Kensington is accused of gunning down Shawntez Thomas "Sleeze" Weems, 23, of Cleveland, who was staying at a Kenneth Avenue apartment, police said.

After a brief chase Sunday evening, McWhite was arrested on a federal gun warrant that is sealed.

He was charged yesterday morning with homicide and trying to flee police.

In March 2009, McWhite posted $50,000 bond after allegedly shooting up a car with nine shots — in anger for a drug deal gone bad — and then sideswiping a school bus with children while trying to flee. None of the children was injured in the Feb. 12, 2009, incident.

That trial, which was rescheduled four times, is scheduled for later this month.

In January, Arnold police charged McWhite with selling drugs.

Police said the Weems shooting happened along the 1000 block of Constitution Boulevard near Walnut Street on the evening of April 3.

Numerous shots were fired, but Weems died from a single .40-caliber bullet to the back near his neck, police said.

Police said McWhite was an early person of interest. Westmoreland County and New Kensington detectives said they found at least one witness who saw McWhite in the neighborhood with Weems just before the shooting.

McWhite allegedly told a witness that he shot Weems, and a witness told police where the pistol allegedly was thrown.

Divers on Saturday found a .40-caliber pistol in the Allegheny River in the Barking section of Plum. The pistol is being tested to see if it fired the bullet that killed Weems.

New Kensington Detective Sgt. Dennis Marsili said he was preparing to file a homicide warrant against McWhite yesterday morning but that changed when McWhite was spotted Sunday just before 7:30 p.m. driving a Buick along Leishman Avenue.

Officers said they knew McWhite could be held on a federal gun warrant, and they got behind him and turned on their police lights.

Police said McWhite refused to pull over and ran a red light at 14th Street and Fifth Avenue. Somewhere in the chase the car he was driving hit another car or other property.

The Buick was abandoned in the 1400 block of Third Avenue.

McWhite was apprehended when someone phoned police to say a man was hiding next to a boat and a car in Cherry Alley.

Because of the chase, McWhite also is charged with reckless endangerment, fleeing or attempting to elude police, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license, causing an accident and leaving the scene.

Police said McWhite was unruly in the holding cell on Sunday and Monday morning.

McWhite allegedly soiled his shirt in the toilet, and that was the reason he was shirtless when he was arraigned Monday morning, police said.

McWhite is being held without bond pending a preliminary hearing that is tentatively scheduled for Thursday.

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