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Former Cranberry resident faces life in prison

October 17, 2018 News Extra

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Matthew Darby

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.

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