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Opening statements begin in Beaver County homicide trial

WTAE Pittsburgh logo WTAE Pittsburgh 6/10/2021
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Opening statements began Thursday in the trial of Sheldon Jeter Jr. at the Beaver County Courthouse.

Watch the report from Beaver in the video player above.

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Jeter, 23, of Aliquippa, is charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of Tyric Pugh, 30, in May 2020.

The defense claimed the two were good friends and that Jeter is not to blame for the deadly shooting in Aliquippa.

During opening statements, the prosecution said Pugh was shot six times, including 5 times in the head.

The first witnesses Thursday were two witnesses who saw Pugh's body on Kiehl Street in Aliquippa, as well as two members of Pennsylvania State Police.

State Police Trooper Clayton McGeary says they found a drivers license in Pugh's wallet that led them to an address belonging to Sheldon Jeter.

A Chevrolet SUV seen on surveillance cameras driving away from the scene shortly after the murder on May 15, 2020 was parked in the driveway.

Prosecutors say they have physical evidence they'll present.

Jeter's defense team says there's little evidence of motive in this case, though, saying that Pugh and Jeter were good friends.

"We’re telling the story, we’re telling the true story of what happened in this case, not a theory of what happened. And the true story in this case is based upon the relationship of Tyric and Sheldon, they were friends, they’d known each other their whole lives, there’s a reason the victims address is the same as Sheldon’s, clearly there’s no animosity," said Michael Santicola, who's on Jeter's defense team.

Jeter made headlines in 2018 when he was questioned, but never charged, in the death of Rachael DelTondo, who was shot in her parents' driveway in Aliquippa on Mother's Day.

DelTondo's killing remains unsolved.

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