2 men ordered to trial in deaths of 2 Pennsylvania men

Published 02-23-2019

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SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) - Two men have been ordered to stand trial in the slayings of two western Pennsylvania men reported missing almost two years ago.

A Somerset County district judge on Friday held 24-year-old Devon Wyrick of Columbus, Ohio, and 26-year-old Samson Washington, of Johnstown, for trial in county court on all charges including homicide, aggravated assault, and kidnapping.

Nineteen-year-old Damien Staniszewski (stan-ih-SHES'-kee) and 32-year-old James Edward Smith were reported missing in March 2017. Their remains were found months later in a wooded area in Conemaugh Township.

Authorities allege the two were killed after stealing drugs and cash from Washington's house. Defense attorneys argued unsuccessfully that prosecutors hadn't tied their clients to the slayings. Another defendant testified for prosecutors but acknowledged he had been using drugs during the events about which he testified.

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