Death penalty sought in August Larimer killing

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The Allegheny County district attorney's office announced Monday that it would seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing another in Larimer.

Zachary Blair, 28, is charged in the Aug. 15 shooting death of Anthony "Tone" Wilson.

Wilson, 24, was shot to death while visiting inside a home on Lowell Street.

Police linked Blair to the crime when bullet casings collected at the scene matched a gun found inside a car he had rented, court documents show.

In its notice to the court, the prosecution listed two aggravating circumstances for seeking capital punishment -- that the defendant committed a killing while in the perpetration of a felony (criminal conspiracy and a firearms violation; and that Blair has been convicted of another murder before latest offense.

Blair pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the August 2003 beating death of Albert Northcutt, 58, at a Larimer gas station. The attack occurred, police said, because Northcutt refused to buy cigarettes for Blair.

He was sentenced on April 8, 2004, to 7 to 14 years in prison.

Blair began serving his sentence with the state Department of Corrections on May 4, 2004, and was paroled on July 12, 2012, to Renewal No. 1, a halfway house Downtown.

According to state records, Blair was granted parole because of his participation in and completion of prescribed institutional programs; his positive institutional behavior; the positive recommendation made by the DOC and his acceptance of responsibility for the offense committed.

He was granted full release from Renewal on Sept. 24, 2012, and parole was to last until Sept. 2, 2017.

In August 2011, Blair was found not guilty of killing James "Onion" Malloy, 20, on May 30, 2002.

A jury deliberated less than four hours before finding Blair not guilty.


Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter @PaulaReedWard.

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