Accused ringleader in Hempfield stabbing death denies he killed victim |
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Paul Peirce
Christopher James 'CJ' David, 40, of Youngwood is charged with homicide.

As four people accused in the Nov. 8 stabbing death of Matthew Genard for drugs and cash were led handcuffed into a courtroom Tuesday for a preliminary hearing, the alleged ringleader denied he killed the Youngwood man.

“I didn’t kill him. I went there for a robbery, and it turned out worse,” said Christopher “CJ” David, 40, of Youngwood. “I was just there going for drugs.”

David made the comments to reporters as he was led by Westmoreland County Sheriff’s deputies into District Judge Anthony Bompiani’s office in Youngwood.

The hearing was continued for David, 40, and the three other suspects — Michael James Covington Jr., 20, Linda Kay Quidetto, 40, and Jason Sullenberger, 40, all of Youngwood. They face multiple criminal charges, including homicide, robbery and criminal conspiracy, filed by state police.

The four are accused of stabbing Genard, 50, to death. His body was found Nov. 10 at a Wineman Lane home in Hempfield. Troopers allege he was killed two days earlier in a robbery scheme.

Genard had been stabbed more than 20 times and his throat was slashed, according to police.

Police identified David as the suspected ringleader who allegedly crafted the plan to kill Genard and divide two bricks of heroin, other drugs and $1,100 with his companions.

David wanted to rob Genard of drugs and money because he was upset with him, police allege.

He told the group he “was tired” of working for Genard and said he knew he had drugs and cash because he had driven him to Uniontown earlier in the day, according to the affidavit filed by Trooper John Beynon.

Sullenberger is represented by attorney Michael DeMatt of Greensburg, Quidetto is represented by the Westmoreland County Public Defender’s Office and Covington is represented by Pittsburgh attorney Richard J. McCague.

David told Bompiani during a brief court appearance that he had applied for an attorney from the public defender’s office.

McCague, Covington’s attorney, was the only other person to speak about the case Tuesday.

“It’s a very complex case. … Everyone’s given a story, but none of the stories match up completely,” McCague said. “We’ll have to put our trust in the legal system to ferret out the truth.”

Investigators had identified the Wineman Lane home as a drug distribution point earlier this year after they dismantled a heroin trafficking ring. Genard was not charged during that operation.

All four suspects were returned to the county jail, where they are being held without bail. A new hearing date has not been scheduled.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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