Charges filed in man's death at South Side homeless camp

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A former Beaver County man was arraigned Tuesday on charges that he beat to death a Castle Shannon man who refused the suspect's advances.

Richard Kelly, 51, is being held without bail in the Allegheny County Jail on a charge of homicide. A preliminary hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. April 16 in Municipal Court.

The arrest stems from the beating death April 3 of Dennis Farley, 51, at a South Side encampment frequented by homeless people.

Mr. Farley's relatives point out that though he had a home with his sister, Vicki Maiers, in Castle Shannon, he sometimes visited the camp situated along the railroad behind a shopping plaza in the 2000 block of Wharton Street.

A police affidavit that supports Mr. Kelly's arrest said a witness saw the suspect and victim arguing during the late evening of April 2.

The argument precipitated the beating death, police said.

In the affidavit, a witness told investigators that Mr. Kelly approached the victim, offering to perform a sex act.

But, the witness said in the affidavit, Mr. Farley refused and began to walk away when he was struck over the head several times with a long, metal object.

The suspect threw Mr. Farley to the ground and began to kick him.

The Allegheny County medical examiner said Mr. Farley suffered broken ribs and fatal organ damage.

Witnesses said Mr. Kelly left the camp a short time later.

A homeless man found Mr. Farley's body and initially thought he was asleep. The witness later called 911 to report Mr. Farley's condition.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:33 a.m.

The death was tragic for Mr. Farley's siblings and acquaintances, said his brother, Jim Farley, of Baldwin Township.

"He fought for his pride and values. It's really tragic," Jim Farley said.

Dennis Farley, a U.S. Navy veteran and father, was a master auto mechanic and generous to a fault, his siblings said.

"If somebody was hungry he'd buy them food," said Jim Farley.

Mrs. Maiers said her late brother, the eldest of the five Farley siblings, was well- known and liked in the South Hills where they all were raised.

In addition to his sister and brother, Mr. Farley is survived by two daughters, Stacey Marrone and Nicole Pro, both of Pittsburgh; his mother, Gloria Mitko, and stepfather, Michael Mitko, both of Potter, Beaver County; a brother, Stephen Farley; and a sister, Colleen DeStephan.

Visitation is from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Huntsman Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Aliquippa.


Jim McKinnon: jmckinnon@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1939.


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