- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A western Pennsylvania man has been convicted of third-degree murder in the slaying of a man at a western Pennsylvania housing complex almost two years ago.

Jurors in Fayette County deliberated for about 7½ hours before convicting 28-year-old Kurtavius Smith in the May 2012 killing of 28-year-old Marlin Crawford of Uniontown, who was found on the sidewalk in front of Pershing Court.

Authorities sought a first-degree murder conviction, saying Smith had sent text messages to an ex-girlfriend expressing dismay that she was dating the victim, and in one text threatening to kill him.

Defense attorney Charles Hoebler said an appeal is likely. He argued during trial that police ruled out another suspect too quickly and said Smith never acknowledged shooting Crawford, only “running away and firing a weapon.”

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