David Shrager, the attorney of Matthew Darby — a 21-year-old for whom the police have obtained an arrest warrant in connection to the murder of a Pitt student — called for his client to turn himself in during a press conference Tuesday at noon.
Shrager spoke to his client through members of the media gathered in his office, reading a statement from Darby’s parents telling their son to cooperate with the police. Shrager said Darby doesn’t have the resources or education to evade law enforcement and asked him to turn himself in “before something bad happens.”
“Please turn yourself in before this escalates,” Shrager said. “Your family is behind you and will help you.”
Darby’s ex-girlfriend, Pitt junior Alina Sheykhet, was found dead in what authorities called a homicide. Darby’s charges include homicide, burglary, flight to avoid apprehension, possession of instruments of crime and theft, according to an email statement from Pittsburgh police spokesperson Sonya Toler.
Sheykhet had a protection from abuse order against Darby, filed after he was charged with breaking into her apartment on Sept. 21. Shrager said there is an arrest warrant out for Darby for violating the restraining order. But Shrager emphasized several times that Darby has not been charged in the homicide investigation.
Shrager said neither he nor Darby’s parents know his whereabouts or what condition he is in. Shrager read a statement from Darby’s parents to open the 12-minute press conference.
“Son, we have always handled things as family,” Shrager read from the statement. “We are pleading with you to contact your attorney.”
Darby’s parents’ statement also expressed condolences to Sheykhet’s family. Shrager said Darby’s parents have not been contacted by police but are willing to cooperate.
Shrager offered few details on the case that lead to the restraining order or another case involving rape charges.
“I need facts like everybody else,” Shrager said. “I haven’t been given facts.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports police said Darby may be driving a black Chevrolet Cruze with Pennsylvania license plate HBT1677. Police said he is potentially armed and dangerous, according to the Post-Gazette.
Asked to confirm if this was true, Pittsburgh police spokesperson Sonya Toler said “no” in an email Tuesday.
Shrager pleaded with his client to turn himself over to his attorney before he is captured by law enforcement.
“If he is apprehended by the police we never know how things can go,” he said. “We’ve all seen these things turn bad.”