Police add drug charges to Sharpsburg homicide suspect

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A Sharpsburg man charged with killing his aunt's fiance has also been charged with possessing drugs.

Michael Lapaglia is spending his 23rd birthday in jail after Allegheny County police arrested him Tuesday on charges that he killed John Parkes Jr., 59, inside the family's Poplar Street home.

The same day county police arrested Mr. Lapaglia, Stowe police charged him with four counts of drug charges and driving with a burned out brake light.

Stowe police wrote in a criminal complaint that they pulled Mr. Lapaglia over July 25 -- four days after Mr. Parkes was killed -- because they spotted him driving with a burned out light. An officer thought he smelled marijuana and when police searched Mr. Lapaglia's pockets they found $247 in cash, heroin and Suboxone, which is typically taken to help with drug dependence, according to the complaint.

"Michael uttered the words that he was not a heroin addict, that he was getting it for somebody," police wrote.

Allegheny County police charged Mr. Lapaglia Tuesday with killing his aunt's fiance after they said he tried to pawn several pieces of jewelry that were reported stolen from the family home when Mr. Parkes was found dead of gunshot wounds July 21.

Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com.


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