The criminal homicide trial for a Penn Hills man started Monday in Fayette County Court.
Tyree “Brick” Smith, 23, is charged with fatally shooting Richard Anthony Hinton, 28, of Uniontown inside a bedroom of a home on Dunlap Street in Uniontown on May 22, 2018.
A 14-year-old who was home at the time of the shooting testified he knew Smith as a friend of the family. The day Hinton was shot, the boy testified, he heard Smith say he was going to “blast” or “pop” someone.
The teen testified he pretended he was asleep during that conversation, which stopped when Hinton opened the door to the bedroom where Smith and another man were.
The boy said Hinton asked what was going on. Then, the boy testified, Smith shot Hinton four times and Hinton fell forward onto the floor.
The teen told jurors that he saw Smith take a gun from Hinton’s waistband and what he believed to be a wad of money.
The boy said he heard a voice downstairs saying, “Bro, it’s me! It’s me!” and heard Smith fire another shot down the stairs, followed by the boy’s sister yelling at him not to shoot her dad.
Smith’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Michael Aubele, questioned the boy’s testimony versus what he told police as well as his testimony during Smith’s preliminary hearing in July 2018.
Aubele asked if there were instructions from the boy’s father to not open the door for Hinton unless he knocked, which was what the boy testified to during the preliminary hearing, but denied on Monday.
The boy said his father told him that sometimes it was okay if Hinton didn’t knock.
In his opening remarks, Aubele told jurors Smith fatally shot Hinton, but said he was defending himself.
“Everyone has the right to use deadly force when faced with bodily injury or death,” Aubele said, adding that Hinton forced his way into the house to do harm to Smith.
In her opening statement, Assistant District Attorney Meghann Mikluscak acknowledged Hinton wasn’t an angel, but said he was shot at close range in the head, face and back. That, she said, is not indicative of a shooting done in self-defense.
“You’ll hear evidence that not only did (Smith) plan to do it, but he planned to get away with it,” Mikluscak said, asking the jury to come back with a conviction of first-degree murder.
Testimony will resume at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. Smith is lodged in the Fayette County Prison without bail.