New Kensington homicide suspect faces trial on tampering charge
A Pittsburgh man headed to trial for the death of a New Kensington man has been accused of trying to tamper with potential witnesses in that trial.
Shane Lenell McCrommon, 38, of Clark Street, Pittsburgh — also known as Carlos “Pain” Wallace or “P” — was ordered on Wednesday to stand trial on the new charge. McCrommon already is charged with third-degree homicide and aggravated assault in the beating and kicking death of Jeffrey Edwards, 54, just before midnight on June 26, 2012.
Now, he is accused of trying to discourage witnesses from testifying against him at his trial.
At a hearing Wednesday, New Kensington police Detective Lt. Jim Klein testified he got a packet of letters that McCrommon wrote to his girlfriend, Noel Bridges, of Pittsburgh’s West End.
One of the 15 or so letters mentions the names of people present when Edwards was assaulted in a house along the 1000 block of Victoria Avenue. Prosecutors say the unsigned letter instructs Bridges to contact another woman and have her contact the witnesses to keep them from testifying. Bridges said she tried to contact one of the witnesses named in the letter herself but learned he was in jail.
Although Bridges testified that she couldn’t identify the letter as having been written by McCrommon, Westmoreland County Assistant District Attorney Larry Koenig argued that McCrommon was the only prisoner she knew at the prison and that she kept the letter with others that were signed by McCrommon.
McCrommon’s attorney, Jim Fox, argued that Koenig didn’t prove the letter was from McCrommon and Bridges “can’t testify with certainty” about who wrote the letter. He also pointed out that none of the witnesses was actually contacted.
“It isn’t necessary that she (Bridges) acted. The point is, McCrommon made the request,” Koenig argued. New Kensington District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. held the tampering charge for court. McCrommon remains in the Westmoreland County jail awaiting the homicide trial scheduled for early next year.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.