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Clairton Man Held in Connection With Homicide

By Submitted Report
The Tube City Almanac
November 23, 2016
Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Clairton man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in the closet of a home on Jenny Lind Street on Tuesday.

Shawn Maurice Thomas Jr., 24, was charged by Allegheny County police with criminal homicide, access device fraud and abuse of a corpse, and arraigned Wednesday morning before Magisterial District Judge Robert Ravenstahl Jr.

Court officials said he is being held without bond pending a preliminary hearing at 8 a.m. Dec. 2 before Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Manning.

Police said that McKeesport and Allegheny County officers discovered a badly decomposed body at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at a home in the 700 block of Jenny Lind Street.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday afternoon identified the victim as Jerry Kunes, 46, of McKeesport. The medical examiner's office said Kunes was suffocated and has ruled his death a homicide.

Liz Navratil of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that police are accusing Thomas of assaulting the victim at a residence on Walnut Street, then taking the victim's body to the house on Jenny Lind and dumping it.

According to the newspaper, police allege that the victim had purchased drugs from Thomas, and that Thomas was able to gain access to the victim's bank card.

Court records indicate that police believe the murder occurred on or about Sept. 25.

Anyone having information regarding this case is encouraged to contact McKeesport police at (412) 675-5015, or Allegheny County Police at (412) 473-3000.

Court records indicate that Thomas was charged Nov. 10 by Pleasant Hills police with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with an incident Nov. 9 in the borough. He faces a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Jan. 4 before Magisterial District Judge Jesse Cramer.

Originally published November 23, 2016.

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