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2 Suspects In Art Student’s Death Appear In Court

By: Heather Abraham
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(Photo Credit: Allegheny County Police Department)

(Photo Credit: Allegheny County Police Department)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Heather Abraham
Pittsburgh native Heather Abraham joined KDKA in Decembe...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Two suspects in the shooting death of a local art student appeared in court Friday morning.

However, prosecutors are still waiting for a key witness in the case to surface.

Art Institute student, Malachi Urbini, 20, was shot to death back in May. Defense attorneys for the accused killer and co-conspirator said in court today that there is not enough evidence to move forward.

“There’s no fingerprint evidence, there’s no ballistic evidence. There is no anything! Other than statements supposedly made to an officer when nobody else was around,” attorney Paul Iannetti said.

The prosecution says back on May 8, 17-year-old Shilee Dixson shot Urbini.

Atorneys said that Dixson and Taivon Cunningham had conspired to steal an iPad2 during an alleged drug deal in McKees Rocks.

While both Cunningham and Dixson made statements to police, the defense argues that the prosecution’s main witness has been a no-show and there’s no solid proof.

“’The witness, witness number one, has personal knowledge of this incident and will be available for all court proceedings.’ We’re here. Where’s witness number one? He’s not here,” attorney Blaine Jones said while reading court documents.

“What we had today was a police officer, who was not present on the scene, testifying to what someone told him. That’s the sheerest definition of hearsay in anyone’s book.” Iannetti said.

The judge did move the case to court and Mark Tranquilli with the district attorney’s office said he’s not concerned with the amount of evidence.

“The fruit of the robbery, the IPad2, was found in his bedroom, along with 38 caliber ammunition” Tranquilli said.

Whiel they are still waiting for a ballistics testing, the Das office believes the ammunition found will be a match to the bullets that killed Urbini.

Also in court today, a detective testified that they do have phone records showing there was communication between Urbini and Cunningham.

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