Three suspects face trial in shooting death of student in Kennedy
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Three of four suspects will stand trial in the June shooting death of a Slippery Rock University student who police say was dealing marijuana out of his parents' Kennedy home.
Magisterial District Judge Thomas Miller Jr. today ordered Devele Reid, 22, of Hazelwood, to stand trial on charges of homicide, robbery and conspiracy in connection with the June 18 shooting death of 20-year-old Jordan Coyner inside his parents' home in the 5000 block of Julia Lane.
Two teenagers who have been charged as adults in the death -- Dmetrei McCann, 17, and Brandon Lind, 17 -- waived their preliminary hearings and will also appear at a formal arraignment with Mr. Reid in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Aug. 17. The preliminary hearing for a third teenager who was charged as an adult, Jon Lee, 16, was postponed until Aug. 10.
Family members for both the victim and the defendants sobbed as Allegheny County homicide detective Daniel Mayer testified to the details of Mr. Reid's confession, offered in the county police headquarters the morning after the shooting.
Detective Mayer said Mr. Reid -- who pleaded not guilty -- told police Jon contacted him via text about a possible robbery, saying he knew a man who sold marijuana and who was "soft." He, Dmetrei, Brandon and Brandon's younger brother, Michael Lind, met Mr. Reid and parked about a block and a half away from the Coyner house, the detective testified.
He said Dmetrei held an airsoft, or fascimile, gun and stayed outside with the other boys. Mr. Reid, armed with a handgun, entered the house through an open garage door and met Mr. Coyner, who served him some marijuana, the detective said.
Mr. Reid told police he warned Mr. Coyner that he was robbing him and then hit him in the head with a gun. Mr. Coyner told Mr. Reid he had some money in the house and pleaded, "Don't kill me," according to the testimony.
The two struggled. At some point, the gun discharged, striking Mr. Coyner in the left, frontal side of his scalp and traveling down and backward through his skull.
Mr. Reid remained silent during his brief hearing. His attorney, Richard Narvin, declined to comment on the accusations but said, "We ook forward to our day in court."
So does attorney Phillip DiLucente, who is representing Jon, and said he hopes a judge will dismiss the charges because he thinks Mr. Reid's story implicating Jon lacks credibility.
Deputy District Attorney Mark Tranquilli said following the hearing, "This is just one of those cases where a mix of adults and juveniles make ridiculous decisions."
Mr. Reid will face life imprisonment if convicted. The teenagers will face shorter sentences if convicted because the U.S. Supreme Court recently decided it was unconstitutional to give juveniles mandatory life sentences.
Mr. Reid's sister, Shampagnne Humphries, said the hearing was difficult for her family and likely to for those of the other suspects as well. Still, she struggled to imagine what it was like for the Coyner family.
"To see [Jordan's] mother mourning as she was...that really affected me," Ms. Humphries said.
First Published July 20, 2012 12:35 am