Trial begins in death of Pittsburgh furrier
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Trial began this morning for a Westmoreland County man accused of beating his estranged wife's grandfather to death in Squirrel Hill last year.
Jason Eric Kuhns, 36, of Latrobe, is accused of killing Cuddy Briskin, 90, on April 4, 2011.
Deputy District Attorney Mark V. Tranquilli told a jury this morning that Mr. Kuhns killed the man with a tire iron and then stole silver and gold coins from him.
"Twelve hours after Cuddy Briskin breathed his last, Jason Kuhns was on the South Side, pawning silver coins," he said.
Mr. Tranquilli described the victim as generous to a fault and said that because of that, there were a number of suspects early on in the investigation.
On April 21, 2011, however, detectives got a break when they found the pawn slips listing Mr. Kuhns.
But defense attorney John Elash told the jury that his client did not kill Mr. Briskin. He will, however, admit to taking the coins and pawning them to feed his drug habit, the attorney said.
"They do not have a murder weapon," Mr. Elash said. "They do not have any physical evidence to link my client to this case."
The trial, before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani, is expected to last about three days.
First Published May 22, 2012 12:50 am