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Youngwood man’s stabbing death detailed in hearing, 4 suspects to stand trial

March 21, 2018 GMT

Christopher James David was tired of Matthew Genard ordering him around, according to state police.

David, 40, of Youngwood and three other suspects planned to rob 50-year-old Genard of drugs and money in November at his Youngwood home because David didn’t want to be Genard’s “errand boy” anymore, Trooper Brandon Yeager testified Friday.

David put Genard in a chokehold that exposed the victim’s back and “begins to yell, ’Get him, get him, stab him,” to two alleged accomplices, Yeager testified while recounting an interview with suspect Jason Sullenberger, 40, of Youngwood.

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They allegedly did — first Michael James Covington Jr., 20, of Youngwood, and then Sullenberger — before the three men left with Genard’s clothing, cellphone, wallet, drugs and cash, Yeager and Trooper John Beynon testified during a preliminary hearing.

As the three men arrived at Linda Kay Quidetto’s Youngwood home, “she observed that Christopher David was covered in blood from head to toe” and the other two had blood on their shoes, Beynon testified about an interview with the 40-year-old woman.

District Judge L. Anthony Bompiani ruled that enough evidence was presented for David, Sullenberger, Covington and Quidetto to stand trial on charges of homicide, robbery and conspiracy in connection with Genard’s death.

Police allege that the four suspects plotted to rob and stab Genard, an acquaintance, whose body was found by a friend Nov. 10 in the Wineman Lane home where he lived.

During Friday’s 80-minute hearing, investigators outlined their case while several members of Genard’s family listened to testimony. The four suspects were seated in the front row of Bompiani’s small courtroom under watch by sheriff’s deputies while attorneys for each gathered at a table near the judge’s bench.

Police believe the group’s alleged plot began the evening of Nov. 8 when they gathered at Quidetto’s home, according to testimony.

Sullenberger and David headed to Pittsburgh to purchase cocaine while Quidetto and Covington allegedly walked past Genard’s home and reported to the others that he appeared to be home alone.

Early on Nov. 9, the three men allegedly went to Genard’s home. There, police found a bloody scene the following day.

″(David) had explained ... that he had prior knowledge that Jason Sullenberger had intended to kill Matthew Genard and once they arrived at the residence ... he had held Matthew Genard while Michael Covington stabbed him repeatedly,” Beynon testified, referring to an interview with David.

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“At some point, Covington couldn’t bring himself to kill Genard. ... At that point, Sullenberger took the knife out of his hand” and stabbed Genard in the neck area, Yeager testified.

Authorities allege Genard was stabbed about 20 times in the back and neck.

Afterward, David showered. Bloody clothing and Genard’s personal items were put in a garbage bag, which police believe they burned at a home in Hempfield. Beynon testified that troopers found a cellphone and belt buckle they believe belonged to Genard in the burn pile.

“The knife was not found in the fire pit,” Beynon said, describing it as a folding knife Sullenberger carried.

The group allegedly split up two bricks of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and $1,100 they took from Genard.

Quidetto, Sullenberger and Covington were arrested Nov. 16. David was arrested two days later.

Defense attorneys argued that the suspects intended to rob Genard, not kill him, in asking that homicide charges be dismissed.

The four met and conspired to kill Genard and steal his drugs, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Grace responded.

They are being held without bond at the Westmoreland County Prison.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@tribweb.com or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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