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Drugs found at scene of Monessen slaying | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Drugs found at scene of Monessen slaying

Rich Cholodofsky

Seven packets of heroin were found outside, just feet from where masked assailants fired at least four shots through a back door, striking and killing Chris “Snaxx” Fincik at his Monessen home.

Westmoreland County Detective Ray Dupilka testified on Thursday during the third day of the second- and third-degree murder trial of Chalsee Hughes that even more drugs were found on a kitchen table.

Prosecutors contend Fincik, 36, was gunned down during a robbery on Dec. 3, 2012, at his Maple Avenue home. His attackers left behind more than $3,200 and 390 packets of heroin, Dupilka said.

Hughes, 21, of Duquesne is charged as an accomplice in the slaying. Police said she used her identification to purchase a $16 box of ammunition that was used in the shooting.

Dupilka said at least two shell casings found after the shooting matched the ammunition Hughes had purchased three hours earlier at the Rostraver Wal-Mart.

“They were found in the grass adjacent to the rear patio,” Dupilka said of the shell casings.

Earlier this week, jurors saw video from the Wal-Mart that appeared to show Hughes and two other men at the store when she purchased the bullets.

Prosecutors have said the men, Josh Stepoli, 21, and Antoine Hairston, 19, were involved in the Fincik robbery along with Hughes’ boyfriend, 20-year-old Earl Pinkney.

Pinkney is charged with murder and is in jail awaiting trial.

Neither Stepoli nor Hairston was charged in the slaying.

Just two witnesses, both crime scene investigators, testified Thursday. They told jurors about the evidence collected at Fincik’s home and at Pinkney’s house several blocks away.

Detective Hugh Shearer said investigators found a cache of weapons at the Pinkney home but not the AK-47 assault rifle police believe was used in the shooting.

“Were any of the weapons found capable of shooting 7.62 cartridges?” asked Judge Al Bell.

“No,” Shearer testified.

The detective told jurors that police did find an empty plastic gun case in the driveway in front of Pinkney’s home. No weapon was in the case.

Dupilka testified that an AK-47, which uses 7.62 ammunition, could have fit in that case.

The prosecution is expected to complete its case when the trial reconvenes Friday morning with testimony from a jail informant who claims Hughes confessed her involvement in the murder.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or [email protected].


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