Fri, Oct 13, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Suspect in brutal slaying arrested

AP, PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania

The ex-boyfriend suspected of using a claw hammer and two knives to kill a University of Pittsburgh student in her off-campus apartment has been arrested in South Carolina.

Pittsburgh and Myrtle Beach police early on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of 21-year-old Matthew Darby of Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Darby was on Tuesday evening charged with criminal homicide, burglary and other crimes against Alina Sheykhet, 20, who was found slain at about 9am on Sunday.

Pittsburgh police used a video scope to search a sewer drain near Sheykhet’s apartment and they had found the hammer and knives they suspect Darby used to kill her.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner has said Sheykhet died of “blunt force and sharp trauma” to the head, without elaborating.

A criminal complaint filed on Tuesday spells out why police searched the sewer drain and charged Darby.

Darby was at Duquesne University, also in Pittsburgh, at about 3.20am on Sunday, trying to meet a friend before he hired an Uber to drive him to Sheykhet’s street near the Pittsburgh campus several kilometers away.

The driver told police he picked up Darby at about 4:20am and saw him walk toward Sheykhet’s residence after asking the driver to wait for him for 10 minutes.

Darby returned and asked the driver to wait 10 more minutes, then called back in a hushed voice asking the driver to wait longer, but the driver refused and drove off, the complaint said.

Police said that surveillance video showed someone matching Darby’s description dropping a shiny object into a sewer drain and something else into a trash container, the complaint said.

Police arrested Darby when a concerned citizen saw someone “tampering with a window at a residence” at about 12:45am on Wednesday, police spokesman Captain Joey Crosby said.

When police confirmed Darby’s identity, they learned of the Pittsburgh charges and jailed him without bond.

Defense attorney David Shrager on Tuesday had read a statement from Darby’s parents on Pittsburgh TV news stations, urging the suspect to surrender.

“Obviously, it would have been my preference had he contacted me and done this in a more professional fashion,” Shrager told reporters on Wednesday. “That being said, I am happy this ended peacefully and we can move forward as appropriate in court.”

Shrager said he could not address the charges specifically.

“At this time I have just that, allegations. I need to do an extensive and thorough review of all the evidence in order to create a long-term and short-term litigation strategy,” Shrager said, adding that he was working to bring Darby back to Pennsylvania.

Shrager also represents Darby in the alleged rape of another ex-girlfriend in February.

The woman told authorities in Indiana County — about 72km northeast of Pittsburgh — that Darby called her 33 times one night after they broke up, and she relented and let him come over to apologize.

The woman said Darby pulled her hair and raped her when she told him she was seeing someone else.

Darby has claimed the sex was consensual.

Pittsburgh police said cellphone records show that Darby called Sheykhet twice, minutes before he called for the Uber, and three more times at about 4:55am, and that she did not answer the calls.

Sheykhet’s cellphone was missing from her room when her family found her body on Sunday, police said.

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