Trial begins for Whitaker man charged in double homicide

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Trial began this morning for a Whitaker man accused of a double homicide in West Mifflin two years ago.

It is the third trial for Richard Krista, 22. The first two, in October and January, both ended with hung juries.

Mr. Krista is accused of shooting to death Cody Ruder, 21, and Joseph Sherrill, 19, both of West Mifflin, at the Monview Heights housing complex on May 12, 2012.

Assistant district attorney Robert Schupansky told the jury this morning during opening statements that there were two witnesses who saw Mr. Krista and another man running away from where the bodies were found two seconds after six shots were fired.

One of the witnesses, who went to school with Mr. Krista and played football with him, was able to immediately identify him by name, Mr. Schupansky said.

The prosecution believes Mr. Krista targeted Ruder because he had been hitting on the man's girlfriend.

But defense attorney James Wymard said during his openings that the key witness in the case never told the initial detective who spoke with him any name.

"He'll tell you he cannot say for sure it was Richard Krista," Mr. Wymard said.

Paula Reed Ward: or 412-263-2620.


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