Procopio case one step closer to trial

A pre-trial hearing scheduled Thursday for Steven Procopio, accused in a triple homicide, ended up as a discussion among attorneys Thursday in judge’s chambers.

Procopio, 20, of Pulaski Township is set to stand trial in the Oct. 15, 2018, shooting deaths of 10-year-old Amariah Emery; her mother, Nichole Pumphrey, 31; and her mother’s boyfriend, Lawrence Cannon, 31, of North Greenwood Avenue. All three were found inside Pumphrey’s home at 819 W. North St. on the city’s West Side.

According to testimony at a previous hearing by a New Castle police officer, the investigators believe the murders occurred between 10:30 p.m. and midnight. The bodies were discovered shortly after 8 a.m. the next day.

Lawrence County President Judge Dominick Motto is presiding in the case. After a previous pre-trial hearing, Motto had privately reviewed the hours-long video of New Castle police interviews with Procopio. Procopio had been questioned three times on tape on three separate days about his involvement in the case, District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa said.

After discussions about the case moved from the courtroom into Motto’s chambers Thursday, Procopio, who was in the courtroom, was returned to jail.

He is one of two suspects in the homicides. Anthony Lavon Cooper Jr., 20, of Michigan also has been charged in the three deaths. Procopio remains in the Lawrence County jail and Cooper is in the Mercer County jail. Both are being held without bond.

Procopio is being represented by court-appointed counsel John Bongivengo. Lamancusa is prosecuting the case.

According to the court dockets, Procopio’s trial is scheduled for the February trial term, but is subject to change.


Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

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