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A McKeesport man is being held without bail in the Allegheny County Jail in connection with a stabbing at a Downtown apartment building.
Jeffrey S. Leisten, 52, is charged by county police with homicide, burglary and robbery in the death of Gordon Danielson Jr., 57, at McKeesport Downtown Housing, 523 Sinclair St.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for June 10 before Allegheny County Judge Kim Berkeley Clark.
Pittsburgh police allege that Leisten approached an officer on May 17 and confessed that he had stabbed someone in McKeesport. Pittsburgh police searched Leisten, discovering a knife, and contacted McKeesport police.
Danielson’s body was discovered inside his apartment just after 6 p.m. the same day.
County police Sgt. Michael Caruso said in a statement that detectives allege Leisten stole $400 from Danielson in order to purchase narcotics.
The apartment building is the former YMCA of McKeesport and has permanent residents, but also provides short-term shelter for people who are homeless or have lost their residences.
County police said they believed that Leisten had been suffering from mental health issues prior to the robbery, and were still determining whether Leisten was a permanent tenant or seeking temporary shelter.
Neighbors said Danielson, formerly of Turtle Creek, was well-liked in the community, where friends called him “J.R.” He was survived by a brother and a sister.
Funeral arrangements for Danielson were private and were handled by D'Alessandro Funeral Home & Crematory of Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.
Originally published May 27, 2020.