Suspect, 19, ordered to stand trial in McKeesport slaying

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Moments after he fatally shot a man, a McKeesport teenager got into a jitney driver's car and said, "That's what he gets for killing Chauncey," according to testimony heard in court Friday.

Jason Webb, 19, was ordered to stand trial Friday in the May 17 shooting death of Tezjuan Taylor, 20, who died after he was shot twice near the Beer Barrel bar on Fifth Avenue in McKeesport.

The first eyewitness to testify at the preliminary hearing before District Judge Thomas Caulfield said she saw Mr. Webb moments before the shooting and he seemed angry, although she wasn't sure why. The woman, who admitted to smoking crack, said she saw Mr. Webb make an upward motion with his hands around the time she heard a single shot but that she did not see him with a weapon.

Defense attorney Lee Rothman peppered her with questions.

The next eyewitness, a jitney driver named Denise Fink, provided far more detail.

Ms. Fink testified Friday that she had driven Mr. Webb several times in the past. On the night of the shooting, she said, he asked her to pick him up at Crawford Village and drive to a house on Washington Street and then to the area near the Beer Barrel.

The woman noted that at one point during their travels, Mr. Webb sat in the back seat, a decision she found uncharacteristic.

She said she heard "more than two or three" gunshots and saw Mr. Webb holding a gun that was longer than a handgun.

Allegheny County homicide Detective Gregory Matthews testified that police recovered shotgun casings and wadding in locations near the crime scene.

After the shooting, Ms. Fink said, Mr. Webb got back into the jitney driver's car and made a statement indicating the shooting was likely revenge for the death of someone named Chauncey.

Chauncey Williams, an 18-year-old former East Allegheny High School running back, died in July 2012 after he was shot while sitting on the back porch of a home in McKeesport. Taylor had not been charged with that killing.

Ms. Fink said Mr. Webb asked her to drive him back Washington Street and then to Crawford Village. Detective Matthews testified that county police recovered a shotgun barrel during a search of the area around Crawford Village that has been submitted for testing.

Mr. Rothman said, "It appears to be a case in which a witness has identified my client as shooting and has given a motive as to the shooting." Defending such a case can be difficult, he said, but he added that he did not yet have much information about Ms. Fink, her history or other issues that could speak to her credibility.

Mr. Webb remains in the Allegheny County Jail without bond. He was charged with attempted homicide, robbery and other crimes this week by Pittsburgh police, who said he shot a man and a woman in Downtown Pittsburgh in January of last year. Police said they received a call from one of the victims, who told them that he recognized Mr. Webb as the Downtown shooter after seeing footage of him on the news in connection with Taylor's death.


Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil. First Published May 30, 2014 12:16 PM


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