- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A second suspect has been charged in connection with the death of a Pittsburgh man later found in a West Virginia river, and with killing the victim’s dog so its blood could be used to contaminate the crime scene.

Raymond Lamont Schifino, 29, was charged Tuesday with evidence tampering, arson, abuse of a corpse, cruelty to animals and other offenses in Andre Gray’s death. Schifino doesn’t have an attorney or an address and was last housed in the Indiana County Jail, about 45 miles northeast of the city on unrelated charges, according to online court records.

Gray, 34, was last seen Oct. 25. His body was found by a towboat captain in the Ohio River near Follansbee, West Virginia, on March 25.

An autopsy determined Gray had been stabbed 10 times in the back and buttocks, but died from being shot once behind the left ear.

Hubert Wingate, 30, of Pittsburgh is jailed on charges of criminal homicide, theft and abuse of a corpse in Gray’s death.

Wingate was ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing in May at which police said they linked a gun Wingate possessed to a bullet from Gray’s body. And, because Wingate logged onto an online video game network using Gray’s account, but Wingate’s own email address, after Gray disappeared.

Another man who has not been charged testified in May that he helped Wingate and Schifino dump the body in the Allegheny River near Arnold, about 60 miles upriver from Follansbee, in late October. The charges filed against Schifino shed more light on that sequence of events.

Police say Schifino told them he was friends with Wingate for years before Wingate called for help to get rid of Gray’s body.

Schifino contends Wingate picked him up in Gray’s car, and then drove to Gray’s apartment where Schifino saw Gray’s body lying on a sheet in the living room, the complaint said.

Schifino said he fatally stabbed Gray’s miniature pinscher, and then mixed the dog’s blood into puddles of other blood in the apartment, at Wingate’s direction. “Mr. Wingate stated that this would ruin any attempts by police to get DNA from the blood,” the criminal complaint said.

Schifino and Wingate then tried to clean up the bloody carpet with bleach.

The men carried Gray’s body in a garbage container to Gray’s car, covering the body with clothes and other electronic equipment they stole from the apartment, Schifino told police. After dumping the body in the river, Schifino drove back to Pittsburgh and set the car on fire, he told police.

Gray’s death received extra attention because the body of another long-missing Pittsburgh man, Paul Kochu, 22, was found in the same river, also near Follansbee, five days before Gray’s.

An autopsy eventually determined Kochu drowned, though police never determined how or why he entered the river after he was last seen leaving a bar with friends early Dec. 16.


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