Man charged in Quincy Township triple shooting awaiting extradition to Pa.

July 29, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Kevin M. Cleeves
Submitted photo

MONT ALTO, Pa. — A man criminally charged in Friday’s triple shooting in Quincy Township, Pa., remained in an Ohio jail Sunday awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.

Kevin M. Cleeves, 35, faces three counts of criminal homicide in the deaths of Brandi N. (Killingsworth) Cleeves, Vincent Luke Santucci Jr. and Rosemary Holma.

Pennsylvania State Police allege Kevin Cleeves killed the adults in a Pa. 997 driveway and fled with his 4-year-old daughter, Leia, before being apprehended in Mahoning County, Ohio.

Brandi Cleeves, 25, of Boonsboro, has been described as Kevin Cleeves’ wife, Santucci’s girlfriend and Leia Cleeves’ mother in court documents and a news release from the Franklin County (Pa.) coroner’s office. Holma, 55, was the mother of 28-year-old Santucci.

Pennsylvania State Police investigators traveled to Austintown, Ohio, on Sunday to conduct interviews.

Austintown (Ohio) Detective Sgt. Jordan Yacovone was assigned on-call duty at 3:45 a.m. Saturday when a supervisor told him that a fugitive might be in the area. Yacovone spotted the suspect’s vehicle at a truck stop near the intersection of Ohio 46 and Interstate 80.

Police used Cleeves’ cellphone signal to track his movements, according to Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Adam Reed.

Responding officers in Mahoning County formed a perimeter around the 1992 Toyota Paseo, but, while waiting for task force members to respond, Cleeves allegedly drove away. He was stopped in a nearby shopping plaza’s parking lot and surrounded.

There were “obviously a lot of guns pointed at the car,” Yacovone said.

Police from the Youngstown suburb of 38,000 people knew a child could be in the vehicle, he said.

Cleeves, of Waynesboro, Pa., “was pointing down like, ‘She’s in here. Don’t shoot,’” Yacovone said.

The apprehension proceeded smoothly from that point, he said.

“There was no incident,” Yacovone said. “The 4-year-old girl was in the car and OK.”

Authorities took Leia to an emergency room for evaluation because the suspect’s vehicle was in a minor collision as they traveled between Pennsylvania and Ohio, Yacovone said.

“She was safe and sound,” he said.

Reed said that as of the last update he had, Leia was in law enforcement custody in Ohio. He said a Glock handgun was recovered from the car, but he was unsure whether that was the weapon used in the shootings.

“With the autopsies, the coroner will have a better idea of the number of rounds that hit the victims,” Reed said.

Both the autopsies and an extradition hearing are scheduled for Monday.

In court documents, police allege Kevin Cleeves argued with Santucci outside the 7705 Anthony Highway home shared by Santucci and Holma. Police said Kevin Cleeves shot Santucci and then Brandi Cleeves, when she jumped out of a car.

Holma was shot while running out of the house, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Magisterial District Judge Larry Pentz’s office.

Kevin Cleeves “related that he went to Santucci’s house to get his daughter back. He related that he had been trying to contact his wife, Brandi, to make arrangements to pick his daughter up, (but) Brandi would not answer his phone calls or messages,” the affidavit states.

Police allege in the affidavit that Kevin Cleeves told them he “messed up.”

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