A man who is already accused of multiple federal crimes is now facing new charges in the death of a woman who was acting as a witness against him. The 35-year old is at risk of serious repercussions if he is found guilty on any of these charges. If convicted on all counts, he could end up spending the remainder of his life in federal prison. There is no word on how he will respond to the new charges as his attorneys have not yet made any comment on the matter.
The investigation into the man's activities began in 2011. At that time, the Pennsylvania attorney general's office began looking into drug trafficking activity that is believed to have taken place in a home rented out by a former Pittsburgh Steelers player. A raid on that home resulted in the seizure of more than $100,000 in cash and 1,500 bricks of heroin, with an estimated street value of more than $500,000. The man was arrested during that raid, but he was not one of the men listed on the home's lease agreement.
Federal agents were working with a witness who was planning to testify against the man. As she was leaving to meet with investigators, she and her mother were shot multiple times in front of their home. The mother survived her injuries, but the daughter died of complications from more than 10 gunshot wounds. The recent charges are related to that crime, and the man has been charged with tampering with a witness by killing a person as well as an attempt of that same crime.
As the matter moves forward, the Pennsylvania man's legal team has to weigh the various options in front of them. The sentence for a conviction on the charges of tampering with a witness by killing a person is life in prison. In addition to the other charges he faces, there is a risk that the man may never again walk free. If the evidence suggests that a conviction is not likely, the matter may eventually go to trial.
Source: wtae.com, "Man charged in killing of federal witness at home with her mother in Hill District", April 4, 2016