Victim’s brother blames fatal stabbing suspect for death of ‘grief-stricken’ mother
Darnell Ivy said he feels as if the man accused of fatally stabbing his brother stole his grieving mother’s life as well.
Ivy watched as a judge on Friday ordered David Umstead, 30, to stand trial on a homicide charge. Family members surrounded Ivy, including his brother’s widow and daughters, but the death of his mother earlier this month weighed heavily on his mind.
“We know she died from grief,” Ivy said. “It’s like he killed her, too. She was grief-stricken. She died in my arms, asking for Rio.”
Pittsburgh police Detective Ed Fallert testified that Umstead is the man seen on surveillance video wrestling with Delrio Ivy, 58, of the North Side early Aug. 29 at Pressley Street and Cedar Avenue.
Delrio Ivy broke away and ran, but Umstead chased him, tackled him from behind and struck him several times while he was on the ground, Fallert said. Umstead ran away before police arrived. Delrio Ivy died at Allegheny General Hospital.
Assistant District Attorney Chelsie Pratt said the medical examiner’s office identified several stab wounds on Ivy’s body, including one in his chest that was 4 inches deep.
“It was overkill,” Darnell Ivy said. He told his 81-year-old mother that Delrio died of a heart attack. “I couldn’t bring myself to tell her he got killed.”
Fallert said Umstead walked away from a half-way house a few days before the incident and was living in the woods in Carnegie. He came to a North Side bar to drink and shoot pool. Umstead told police in an interview that he talked with Delrio Ivy in the bar and agreed to buy “crank” or “speed” from him. Umstead told police that when he and Ivy went outside, Ivy demanded his wallet and swung at him. Umstead told police he pulled the “survival” knife he bought from a Wal-Mart and attacked Ivy, Fallert said. Police did not find any drugs on Ivy.
Surveillance video of the incident doesn’t show who started the altercation, Fallert said, but it does show Umstead chasing after Ivy when he fled. Aaron Sontz, an attorney with the public defender’s office who represented Umstead, argued that the incident was ambiguous and a case of imperfect self-defense.
“The defendant chased the victim,” Pratt, the prosecutor, said. “The defendant had the time to make the specific intent to murder.”
Police identified Umstead as a suspect after someone saw a Tribune-Review story on the Internet about the incident. The story included a picture from the surveillance video, and the reader called police.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or [email protected].