PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The man accused of shooting and killing a Slippery Rock University student was in court Friday morning.
Isiah Smith, 22, or Lincoln-Lemmington, was charged earlier this month with homicide in the shooting death of Slippery Rock student 24-year-old Zach Sheridan.
Friday morning, Smith was ordered to stand trial in Sheridan’s death.
Police say Sheridan was shot after a confrontation that spilled out onto the street in Oakland near the Original Hotdog Shop.
Surveillance footage showed Sheridan leaving the confrontation and then getting shot in the back.
After police obtained a warrant, Smith turned himself into police Aug. 5.
He has been in the Allegheny County Jail.
“The testimony came out from both the detective and from the person that was there, his friends that Mr. Sheridan punched Mr. Smith with a closed hand to the face twice, ” said defense attorney Blaine Jones. “My client didn’t touch mr Sheridan. He was punched twice.”
Friends and family members were at the courthouse Friday for Smith’s hearing, wearing T-Shirts in Sheridan’s honor. None of them wanted to speak after the hearing.
However, the man that was with Sheridan at the time of his death testified Friday.
The defense argues that the confrontation started when the friend and Sheridan were being aggressive toward a woman.
“One of the issues withe the witness in particular, is the fact that he comes here today like a church boy,” said defense attorney Blaine Jones, “and that’s contrary to our investigation. Our investigation was — showed he and the rest of his group were extremely aggressive that night — threatening women and saying if you don’t do certain things, we’re going to do certain things.”
“He didn’t testify to that today and that’s why I was aggressive with him in my cross-examination, because I don’t believe that he came to the court with clean hands. I think his hands were dirty and that’s what I wanted to show today.”
Allegheny County District Attorney Steve Zappala plans to hold a news conference Monday to release the surveillance pictures used as evidence today, and to discuss other aspects of the case.
Smith also faces additional charges of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.
Stay with KDKA for more information.