PITTSBURGH — A former Cranberry Township man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and awaits sentencing in the slaying of a University of Pittsburgh student in her off-campus apartment a year ago.
An Allegheny County judge Wednesday accepted the plea from 22-year-old Matthew Darby, which he entered after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. He faces a mandatory life sentence without parole.
Authorities said Darby used a claw hammer and two knives to kill 20-year-old Alina Sheykhet, his ex-girlfriend, in October 2017.
Prosecutors have said they believe Darby killed Sheykhet, who had filed a protection from abuse order against him, to prevent her from testifying about a break-in during which he stole her cell phone.
He fled and was captured in Myrtle Beach, S.C. A graduate of Seneca Valley School District, he most recently lived in Greensburg.
Darby also pleaded guilty to theft, flight to avoid apprehension and burglary in a homicide as well as criminal trespass.
He still faces charges in an Indiana County rape case as well as a November altercation with jail guards.