Pittsburgh Attorney and Murder Suspects’ Parents Urge Him to Surrender
Pittsburgh Attorney David Shrager held a news conference yesterday, urging his client and murder suspect Matthew Darby to surrender. Attorney Shrager read a letter from the suspects’ parents, also urging him to turn himself into police. Watch a video of the news conference below.
Channel 11 WPXI – Attorney: Murder suspect Darby’s parents stand with him, urge him to surrender
Matthew Darby charged with homicide in Alina Sheykhet’s death
Pittsburgh police said surveillance camera footage shows the ex-boyfriend of a slain University of Pittsburgh student a block away from the crime scene around the time of the killing.
The video also shows Matthew Darby, 21, drop a shiny object into a sewer grate as he walks away from Alina Sheykhet’s Cable Place home, according to a criminal complaint. Detectives said the objects dropped in the sewer were the weapons used to kill Ms. Sheykhet in her residence early Sunday.
Mr. Darby was charged Tuesday with homicide, burglary, possessing instruments of crime, theft and flight to avoid apprehension. He was taken into custody in Myrtle Beach, S.C. early Wednesday morning.
In a criminal complaint, investigators documented Mr. Darby’s movements the night of Ms. Sheykhet’s death.
Investigators said Mr. Darby was at Duquesne University at 3:19 a.m. Sunday trying to meet a friend at Brottier Hall. The person he was trying to meet was not available, and, after about an hour, he requested a ride from a commercial car service, the complaint said.
A driver from the car service picked up Mr. Darby from Duquesne University at 4:21 a.m. and drove him to Cable Street in Oakland, according to the complaint.
Mr. Darby got out of the car at the intersection of Semple and Ward streets in Oakland, asked the driver to wait for him for about 10 minutes, and walked off in the direction of Ms. Sheykhet’s residence, the complaint said.
The driver told police Mr. Darby returned after about 10 minutes and asked the driver to wait for another 10 minutes. About five minutes later, Mr. Darby called the driver and, in a whispered voice, asked him to wait another 10 minutes, the complaint said.
The driver told Mr. Darby he could not wait any longer, ended the fare, and drove away.
Police said Mr. Darby was caught on surveillance video walking on Urie Way toward Semple Street with what appeared to be some type of light in his hand. At the intersection of Urie Way and Semple Street, Mr. Darby knelt down and dropped a shiny object into a sewer grate, the complaint said. He walks a little farther on Urie Way and drops another object into a dumpster, according to the complaint.
Investigators said Ms. Sheykhet was attacked with a weapon that could cause sharp and blunt force trauma. In the sewer, police said they found a claw hammer and two stainless steel knives they believe were used to kill Ms. Sheykhet.
Police continue to search for Mr. Darby, as do Mr. Darby’s parents and attorney, who said they have not been able to contact him.
“We cannot find him. I cannot find him. His parents cannot find him,” attorney David J. Shrager said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “We don’t know his whereabouts. We don’t know the condition he’s in. We don’t know anything.”
Mr. Shrager urged his client to call him.
“I’ll take him to the police station myself,” he said. “If he’s apprehended by the police, we never know how these things will go.”
Mr. Shrager read a statement on behalf of Mr. Darby’s parents.
“Matthew, son, we have always handled things as a family,” the statement read. “Together we can get through anything. God is still God and we stand with his word. We are pleading with you to contact your attorney.”
Police said he may be driving a 2013 black Chevrolet Cruze with Pennsylvania license HBT1677. They said he is potentially armed and dangerous.
This was not the first time Mr. Darby has been charged in connection with a crime against Ms. Sheykhet.
Mr. Darby was arrested Sept. 26 and charged with felony criminal trespass for allegedly breaking into Ms. Sheykhet’s apartment on Cable Place six days earlier.
Ms. Sheykhet was found dead in the apartment by her parents Sunday morning. Her father, Yan, said he didn’t know Mr. Darby. “I never heard about him. I knew she had a boyfriend. I never met him before.”
Ms. Sheykhet had sought a restraining order against Mr. Darby. In the request, she wrote that Mr. Darby “climbed up the gutter on the side of the house and broke through the second-floor window of my home. He did this because I left him and stopped answering his phone calls.”
Ms. Sheykhet listed “grabbing” and “pushing” as prior incidents of abuse and described Mr. Darby as emotionally abusive, jealous and controlling.
Under the terms of the temporary restraining order, which was granted, Mr. Darby was excluded from Ms. Sheykhet’s home. A hearing on the temporary protection-from-abuse order was scheduled for last Thursday, but online Allegheny County court records do not indicate whether the proceeding took place.
Mr. Darby is also awaiting trial in Indiana County on charges of rape and other sexual assault offenses. An ex-girlfriend alleged he raped her in February, and then attempted to contact her after police instructed him not to, according to an affidavit.
Those charges were filed in March by Indiana police. He posted the $10,000 bond in that case in March. The case was transferred to the Indiana County Court of Common Pleas.
Mr. Darby was dismissed from the Pitt-Greensburg basketball team during the spring semester. Sean Strickland, who was head coach at the time, said Mr. Darby was removed from the team around Feb. 11, with two games remaining in the season.
Mr. Strickland declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding Mr. Darby’s removal.
“I’m always disappointed when things don’t work out for players,” he said.
Mr. Darby — a 2014 graduate of Seneca Valley Senior High School — played the past three seasons for the Pitt-Greensburg basketball team. After starting 25 of 29 games as a sophomore, his participation dropped off to 17 games last season.
Ms. Sheykhet’s father said Tuesday morning: “She was very talented. Very smart. She was beautiful. Hard to say. That’s it. I don’t want to talk anymore.”
First Published October 10, 2017, 12:12pm
10 October 2017
Police in the US state of Pennsylvania are seeking the ex-boyfriend of a college student found dead by her parents in her bedroom.
Alina Sheykhet, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene at her Pittsburgh home on Sunday from blunt-force trauma.
She sought a restraining order against Matthew Darby, 21, after he broke into her apartment last month.
Police have been unable to locate him. Mr Darby’s lawyer appealed to his client: “Turn yourself in.”
Attorney David Schrager said at a news conference on Tuesday: “You have not been charged. We can work through this.”
Police said Mr Darby is potentially armed and dangerous.
Ms Sheykhet, a physical therapist student at the University of Pittsburgh, filed a protection-from-abuse order against Mr Darby last month.
He was arrested and charged with felony criminal trespass after he allegedly broke into her apartment on 26 September.
In her request for a protection order, Ms Sheykhet said Mr Darby “climbed up the gutter on the side of the house and broke through the second-floor window of my home,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
“He did this because I left him and stopped answering his phone calls.”
Mr Darby is awaiting trial on rape and other sexual assault charges against him in Indiana County.
He posted a $10,000 (£7,500) bail in that case in March.
The bond was revoked on Sunday for a violation of bail release conditions. His preliminary hearing was scheduled for 17 October.
Ms Sheykhet’s parents reportedly went to pick her up on Sunday morning but her roommates said she was still sleeping, according to her father, Yan Sheykhet.
When she did not answer their calls, her father kicked open the door and found her on the floor, he told the Post-Gazette.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide and confirmed she had died from “blunt-force trauma”.
Police said on Monday they did not believe her death was a random act of violence and there was no immediate threat to residents and the university community, according to Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert.
The University of Pittsburgh said in a statement the campus was “saddened and extends its deepest sympathies to the student’s family and those who knew her”.
The ex-boyfriend of a slain 20-year-old University of Pittsburgh coed is being eyed in connection with the woman’s murder, authorities said Tuesday, revealing the college student had recently filed a protection from abuse order against the man.
Pittsburgh Police are searching for 21-year-old Matthew Darby, who has not been charged in Alina Sheykhet’s death, but faces rape charges in an unrelated case. He is potentially armed and dangerous, police said.
Darby was arrested Sept. 26 and charged with felony criminal trespass for allegedly breaking into Sheykhet’s apartment.
Sheykhet filed a protection from abuse order after the incident, writing that Darby climbed up the gutter of her home and broke in through the second-floor window.