PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Two teens accused in a fatal assault at a Carrick group home were in court Wednesday.

District Judge James Hanley ordered the two teenagers to stand trial for murder after a fight last month at a Carrick group home resulted in the death of a resident there, Nicholas Grant.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner ruled Grant was choked to death.

Yusuf Shepard and Malik Crosby were ordered to stand trial on charges of criminal homicide, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy.

The only witness at the preliminary hearing was a youth specialist at the home, Joylynn Grant. She described a fight that followed Shepard allegedly calling Grant a snitch.

“It went into the hallway, then went into the living room. They were wild. Nicholas grabbed a vacuum and threw it. Yusuf grabbed Nicholas from behind, with Nicholas neck in a choke hold. Malik punched and kicked him,” she said.

“It went into the dining room. Malik hit Nicholas with the vacuum. Nicholas was turning purple, trying to pull Yusuf’s arms away. It ended when Nicholas stopped moving,” she testified.

Defense attorneys Al Burke and Blaine Jones argued the victim was the aggressor.

Both are exploring the prospect of sending the case to juvenile court. Right now, both are charged as adults.

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