Agent traces Konias' actions after killing


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Kenneth Konias knew shortly after the death of his fellow armored truck worker that his life would never be the same.

He called his mother four times on Feb. 28, 2012. During the first call, he said he'd argued with some other people. During the second, he said he had $4 million.

His mother told FBI agents she said, " 'Whatever you're doing take it back' ... and his response was, 'It's too late,' " according to a report read in court Tuesday as the nonjury trial for Mr. Konias resumed before Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman.

Mr. Konias, 23, faces charges of homicide, robbery and theft after investigators said he killed fellow Garda Cash Logistics employee Michael Haines, 31, and ran off with $2.3 million.

Testimony Tuesday focused on investigators' efforts to reconstruct Mr. Konias' steps in the hours and weeks following the shooting death of Mr. Haines, which prosecutors have described as an execution and his attorney has called self-defense.

When Pittsburgh police searched the Dravosburg home Mr. Konias shared with his parents, they found Mr. Konias' Garda jacket hanging on a hook next to a couch that also hid three live 9 mm bullets, homicide detective Tim Rush testified. Workers at the Allegheny County medical examiner's office, who tested the jacket for blood later found a spent 9 mm shell casing inside the right pocket, he said.

Shortly before that search, homicide Detective George Satler tried to call Mr. Konias on his cell phone and it went to voicemail. A few moments later, Daniel McDonald, 36, called back to say he'd found the black iPhone sitting in the middle of the road while he was sitting in traffic on Route 51 and wanted to return it to its owner.

The most thorough accounting of what happened next came weeks later, when officials acting on a tip from a prostitute's boyfriend found Mr. Konias inside a home in Pompano Beach, Fla.

About five hours into their interview, FBI agent Gerard Starkey testified, Mr. Konias gave his account, saying Mr. Haines struck him in the back of the head with a money scanner, the two tussled and he shot Mr. Haines once in the back of the head or the upper back after Mr. Haines pulled out his gun.

Asked if he had injuries from the tussle, Mr. Konias told Agent Starkey he had a scab on his head.

"It was a mole," the agent testified.

Mr. Konias told Agent Starkey that he left thousands of dollars in cash at his great grandmother's grave (where he cried and prayed), underneath his parents' car, with an uncle and in work boots kept on a friend's West Mifflin porch.

He then drove to Florida but found he could not comfortably check into a hotel because he only had real ID on him and worried using it would tip the authorities, Agent Starkey said. Officials found real ID and several false Florida IDs in his wallet when they arrested him.

Shortly after his arrival, Mr. Konias befriended a cab driver named Roger Beauchamp, who stored a suitcase of the stolen money in his trunk, helped Mr. Konias obtain false IDs and intended to help him flee to Haiti, according to testimony. He also, Agent Starkey said, agreed to help destroy the Ford Explorer Mr. Konias drove from Pennsylvania to Florida and the bullet-resistant vest used at Garda. Investigators have not found the car or vest.


Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil. First Published November 12, 2013 1:03 PM

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