Agents recall Konias' arrest in Florida after armored car heist

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Kenneth Konias offered to provide a written statement about the killing of fellow armored truck worker Michael Haines.

But when agents gave him a piece of paper, he stared at it for 35 to 40 minutes.

"Konias wished to provide a written confession but could not bring himself to write one due to constantly thinking about Haines," according to an FBI report read in court Wednesday by defense attorney Charles LoPresti. Instead, he wrote only, "I, Kenneth Konias," FBI Task Force Officer Gerard Starkey testified during Mr. Konias' trial for the killing of Haines.

Testimony in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Wednesday focused on his confession to an FBI agent following his arrest last year in the death of Haines Feb. 28, 2012, and the theft of $2.3 million from the Garda Cash Logistics truck he was working in that day. He was arrested two months later in Pompano Beach, Fla.

Agent Starkey said, "Mr. Konias was shaking ... uncontrollably. He was weeping. He was upset he had been placed on the ground," following his arrest.

Agents took Mr. Konias to the Broward County sheriff's office, where he talked around the shooting for about five hours, then recounted a story in which Haines had trouble working a money scanner and hit him in the back of the head with the scanner. Mr. Konias told agents he struggled with Haines, who fell back and hit the truck's exit door then pulled a gun on him, according to testimony.

Around the time the interview took place, agents with an FBI task force searched two bedrooms in the home where Mr. Konias had been staying.

FBI Special Agent Jason Kaelin said investigators found the guns belonging to Mr. Konias and Haines inside a back bedroom. One was behind a refrigerator and the other was to the side of it.

Inside Mr. Konias' backpack, the agent said, they found Gucci Guilty cologne, business cards for after-hours clubs, a Lifestyles condom, Bronze Goddess bronzer and a ticket to see "The Hunger Games" on April 9, 2012.

They found more than $1 million in a suitcase Mr. Konias kept in a storage unit and thousands more in the car trunk and home of a taxi driver he befriended during his time in Florida.

In the afternoon, Judge David R. Cashman, who is presiding over the non-jury trial, heard testimony from Jasmine Underwood, who said she hung out with the defendant for several months until she became interested in another guy. During that time, she testified, Mr. Konias spoke of how he was a manager at Garda and could steal money and the two could run some place far away.

Judge Cashman also heard testimony from a security officer at Rivers Casino who testified that when Mr. Konias picked up cash from the casino that day he acted strangely, saying only one-word statements and moving money from the back of the truck toward the front.

Also Wednesday, Judge Cashman, detectives and Mr. Konias visited the truck in which Haines was found dead.

Liz Navratil: or 412-263-1438. First Published November 13, 2013 1:06 PM

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