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Allegheny County Homicides: April to June, 1998

Sunday, January 03, 1999

APRIL 2

Jacob Geyer, 69, could not bear to see his terminally ill wife, Barbara Geyer, 58, suffer. And he could not live without her.

So, police said, he left the car running in their Elizabeth Township home and they both died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Their bodies were found just before 5 p.m.

APRIL 13

Tamika Wilson and Rhionna Rhodes both wanted the same man.

Rhodes, 18, of the Hill District, and Wilson, 21, of Point Breeze, got into a fight over the man when they met in the hallway of Rhodes' Bentley Drive apartment.

Rhodes grabbed a knife that had been used to prop open a window, and Wilson picked up a mop handle and struck her attacker. Rhodes told police that she stabbed Wilson in the chest.

She is awaiting trial on a homicide charge.

APRIL 17

A stormy, three-year-long marriage ended in murder after Lynn Hanlon and her husband, Edward C. Hanlon III, both 25, argued in their Waddell Avenue home in Clairton.

Police were called when Lynn, a nurse's aide who never missed work, did not show up for three days and relatives found her body in her basement April 17.

She had been bound in rugs and wires after having been strangled, probably days earlier, a spokesman for the Allegheny County coroner said.

Hanlon told police that he choked his wife after an argument. He then went on a drinking binge, and, the day before her body was found, returned to the home to place a crucifix on her body.

He is awaiting trial.

April 19

Allen Wells was using the pay phone at about 2:30 a.m. outside a bar in the Hill District when someone shot him several times, police said.

Wells, 25, of the Strip District, had been inside the Flamingo Bar on Wylie Avenue before he went outside to use the telephone. Patrons in the bar told police they then heard several shots and when they went outside to see what had occurred, they saw Wells lying on the ground.

No one has been charged in the case.

APRIL 28

Kenneth Hudson, 20, of East Liberty, told police that Kenneth Glenn, of Homewood, had robbed and threatened him several times in search of drugs and money.

After the last time, on Feb. 28, Hudson said he got a pistol, tracked down Glenn, 20, on Sterrett Street and shot him.

Hudson is awaiting trial.

MAY 1

Frederick Jay was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Jay, 23, of Homewood, had been riding a bicycle on Hamilton Avenue, when someone in a small blue car pulled up and fired several shots, police said. No arrests have been made.

Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers Inc. is offering a reward for information.

MAY 3

Robert Treese, 80, was a patient at the Heritage Manor Nursing Home in West Mifflin on April 1 when he was attacked by a younger resident at the center.

Treese was hospitalized until his death May 3.

In September, Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht ruled Treese's death a homicide due to a blood clot on his brain caused by the beating.

The suspect, whose name has not been released by police, is undergoing treatment at another facility and has not been charged yet.

MAY 11

Gladys Martin Jones, 86, depended on her daughter for her very life. When she died of malnutrition from what investigators called neglect, the blame fell on her care-giver.

Jones' daughter, Wilma Chapman, 45, was ordered held for trial on a homicide charge.

Jones' body had withered to 84 pounds while she lived with Chapman in a Terrace Village apartment in the Hill District. Should prosecutors charge Chapman with violating a 1995 statute concerning neglect, it would be the first time the county district attorney's office has invoked the law, prosecutors said.

A trial is pending.

MAY 12

Joseph Schidek, 18, said that he was forced at gunpoint to participate in the robbery of his best friend, Steven Caleffie, 19, in Caleffie's apartment in South Fayette.

Schidek testified at a coroner's hearing that he feared for his own life when he saw Kevin R. Quevi fire two bullets into Caleffie's head. Other witnesses also testified that Quevi had tried to get them to accompany them to Caleffie's apartment for the robbery.

Quevi, 21, is awaiting trial.

MAY 15

Kato Redman, 27, of the North Side, was caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between two other men.

Even though dozens of people at a cookout at Fowler Playground witnessed the shooting, only two of them came forward. But then they backed out when it was time for them to testify at a coroner's hearing.

Two men had faced charges in the case. But charges have since been withdrawn for lack of evidence.

MAY 17

Benjamin Waugaman was doing his job as a police officer May 17 when he shot and killed a drunken driver from Fawn who confronted the officer at the scene of a traffic accident, Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht ruled.

Waugaman, 27, of Kittanning, reported that he ordered Todd Norris, 31, to pull over after Norris went speeding by the accident scene.

However, Waugaman said that Norris would not comply with his order. When Waugaman reached to shut off the engine to Norris' truck, Norris grabbed him and dragged him alongside the vehicle. He tried to slam the officer into a sign post before Waugaman pulled his service pistol and fired, killing Norris instantly.

Norris' blood alcohol level was 0.18, almost twice the limit at which a driver in Pennsylvania is considered too drunk to drive.

Waugaman, who had worked part time as a patrolman in Kittanning and as a detective for the district attorney in Armstrong County , has since been hired full time as a county investigator.

MAY 19

Antoinette Hooten, 37, testified at a hearing in February that she witnessed a murder.

Now Hooten is dead. She was found May 19 slumped over the wheel of her pickup truck near her home off Federal Street.

No arrests have been made. Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers Inc. is offering a reward for information.

MAY 21

A man shot his wife and himself early on May 21 inside their Irishtown Road home in Bethel Park.

Frank Bindernagel, 70, and his wife, Lois, 64, were pronounced dead at the scene, the result of a murder-suicide, police said.

Also on this day, Pittsburgh homicide detectives began a search across town for Jamiyl Dean and Thomas Dean Jr. in connection with the slaying that night of Darnell Crew, 20, in Garfield.

Jamiyl Dean, 22, eluded police until September when he was found inside an apartment in Homewood.

His brother, Thomas Dean Jr., 18, of Garfield, was arrested five days after the shooting. Police said the younger brother shot Crew in the head after a fight with Crew. Thomas Dean was held for trial on a count of homicide after a June coroner's hearing.

Jamiyl Dean was wanted for driving the getaway car. Trials are pending for both.

MAY 24

Starshema Bray, 20, told police that she stabbed Aaron L. Allen to death with a steak knife after he assaulted her.

Her attorney said that his client acted in self-defense after Allen, 22, had attacked her in her Harrison Village apartment in McKeesport while she was sleeping. Allen was the father of Bray's daughter, now 11 months old.

After the coroner's hearing into the slaying, Bray was ordered to stand trial on homicide charges.

MAY 28

Jeffery Hawkins, 24, was standing in the 2500 block of North Charles Street at about 4 p.m. when he was shot once in the chest.

He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he died a few hours later.

Police believe the shot was fired from a white or gray Chevrolet Lumina. No arrests have been made.

MAY 31

Joseph Fiedorek, who reached out to his 29-year-old grandson when the younger man was going through troubled times, paid for that risk with his life.

His grandson, Joel T. Sherako, almost died, too, hours after Fiedorek, 78, was killed.

Fiedorek's body was found stabbed to death in his Natrona Heights home in Harrison, hours after Sherako was pulled from a wreck in North Huntingdon, where he had crashed his car.

Police learned later that, in 1985, Sherako had stabbed his father and sister in another attempted murder at the home in New Jersey where he had been living. Both of those relatives survived.

Sherako now is awaiting trial on homicide charges.

JUNE 2

The execution-style slaying of Clifford Thompson, 36, remains unsolved.

Thompson, of Wilkinsburg, was found lying face up on Formosa Way in Homewood just before 1 a.m. March 14. He had been shot once in the back of the head. Thompson was taken to UPMC Presbyterian, where he died June 2.

JUNE 4

Emily and Robert Spik, 5-year-old twins from Findlay, were bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer by their father, Vincent Spik, 37.

Spik told police that he was with the children after his wife had gone to work. He reported that he had been getting his children ready for preschool when he snapped while looking for a toy that one of them had requested.

At a coroner's hearing in November Spik waived his right to a hearing and is awaiting trial on homicide charges.

JUNE 5

Tarik Jermaine Charles, 25, was standing on a porch talking with a friend just before 3 a.m. in the 7000 block of Fletcher Way in Homewood when two men pulled up in a car, got out and fired multiple rounds. Charles died of a gunshot wound of the chest.

Police said the suspects' vehicle was a red, four-door 1979 or 1980 Ford Fairmont. No arrests have been made.

Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information.

JUNE 8

Douglas Sullivan, 44, of McKeesport, was found dead in his car after the car had drifted and crashed into a utility pole on Haw Way at Beech Street in McKeesport.

Police determined that Sullivan had been shot and killed at about 12:40 a.m. Maurice Goins, 18, is awaiting trial.

JUNE 20

Matthew Whetsell, 26, of McKeesport, testified at a coroner's hearing that he saw the stabbing of his brother, Frederick Whetsell, 27, on June 13 in a parking lot outside Donzi's, a Strip District night spot.

Frederick Whetsell died a week later at Allegheny General Hospital.

Matthew Whetsell and another witness identified Brandon L. Cercone, 22, of Kennedy, as his brother's killer. Cercone is awaiting trial.

JUNE 21

David Hopkins of East Liberty was at a street party in Hazelwood when he was gunned down at 4:10 a.m., police said.

Hopkins, 21,was in the 5100 block of Ladora Way when he was shot once in the forehead. He died 20 minutes later at UPMC Presbyterian.

No arrests have been made.

JUNE 22

Seven-year-old Raymond Michelotti was riding his bicycle in the street near his home in Brighton Heights when he was struck and killed by a sport utility vehicle that was fleeing from police.

The driver, Jamal Tait, 20, of Manchester, is awaiting trial on charges of third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle, weapons counts and several traffic violations.

JUNE 23

Tulesha Bell, 20, had not been seen for about two days around her Mifflin Estates apartment in West Mifflin when residents began to complain about a foul odor.

Maintenance workers tracked the scent to her first-floor apartment, where they found her decomposing body on the sofa. She had been beaten to death.

No arrests have been made. Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers Inc. is offering a reward for information.

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