PITTSBURGH — Two men were convicted Monday of murder in the shooting death of a Pittsburgh man that authorities said stemmed from a request from a former lover to have him beaten up.
An Allegheny County jury deliberated for three days before finding Derek Lee, 28, and Paul Durham, 27, guilty of second-degree murder and other crimes in the October 2014 death of 44-year-old Leonard Butler in the Elliott neighborhood, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2dtV3vD) reported.
Authorities said two men broke into Butler’s home, beat him and hit him with a stun gun, and shot him after he lunged at one of them.
Prosecutors alleged that a former girlfriend angry after learning that Butler had been released from jail without telling her and after finding another woman at his home had asked Lee, a co-worker, to beat Butler up. Prosecutors filed a criminal homicide charge against her but later withdrew it, citing evidentiary issues.
Defense attorneys focused on inconsistences in the accounts of the victim’s live-in girlfriend, who identified both suspects from a photo array and said Durham was the one who shot Butler. She first told officers that the attackers wore black ski masks but said during trial that their faces were only partially covered.
A neighbor who called 911 on the afternoon of the slaying to report two men acting suspiciously identified Lee from a photo array and wrote down a license plate that traced back to a car Lee had rented.
Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com