PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was the morning that shattered their lives.
Checking on their daughter in her Oakland apartment, the parents of Alina Sheykhet found the beautiful young Pitt student dead of a brutal beating and stabbing.
“They are devastated. This young lady was the light and the love of their life. By all accounts she was beautiful, talented, compassionate, educated, vibrant,” said Robert DelGreco, the Sheykhet family attorney.
As they await the extradition and trial of her alleged murderer, Matthew Darby – who pleaded guilty to charges in a South Carolina court Tuesday, Sheykhet’s parents are looking for something more than justice.
“They are resigned to the fact that she will never be returned, but they have engaged me for the purpose of, if nothing else, but zealously promoting this pending Senate Bill 196,” said DelGreco.
Prior her murder, Sheykhet petitioned for and was granted a PFA, or a Protection from Abuse Order, requiring Darby to have no contact with her. But, as this case shows, PFAs are ineffective when someone is determined to inflict harm.
The Senate bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Jay Costa of Forest Hills, would allow a judge to order an electronic monitoring device if a defendant is found to present a substantial risk.
The Sheykhets will be lobbying for its passage.
“I admire their commitment to attempting to make some changes in their daughter’s name,” DelGreco said.
Her parents are also calling for better information sharing within the criminal justice system.
At the time their daughter petitioned for a PFA in Allegheny County, the judge was not made aware that Darby had just been arrested for a rape in Indiana County, which was information that may have revoked Darby’s bail.
“More information is always better, and to the extent that we can promote that, I think the parents will feel good about that,” DelGreco added.
So, with Darby’s extradition and trial, the Sheykhets want justice, but they’re looking for something more, meaningful reforms to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.
With Darby pleading guilty today in South Carolina, he will be able to be extradited back to Pittsburgh to face murder charges, which could happen later this week.