Charges Dismissed Against Burglary Suspect; Two Co-Defendants Head to Trial
Magisterial District Judge Robert Ford orders Brittanny Jenkins and Christina Naill to stand trial. Charges against Eric Sigal, 24, of Bellevue, are dismissed.
A trio accused of burglarizing homes across the North Hills appeared Tuesday in Leetsdale District Court to answer charges connected to a Franklin Park residential burglary.
Magisterial District Judge Robert Ford ordered Brittanny Jenkins, 29, of West View, and Christina Naill, 21, of Avella, to each stand trial on one count of receiving stolen property.
Burglary, criminal conspiracy and theft charges filed against the women were dropped.
The same charges plus an additional count of receiving stolen property against Eric Sigal, 24, of Bellevue, also were dismissed.
Before the charges were dismissed, Allegheny County Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Mitchell explained that not enough evidence was produced to pursue the other charges. He suggested police withdraw all charges against Sigal and refile them with additional evidence.
Charges against the three stemmed from a Dec. 2 burglary reported in the 2000 block of Nicholson Road in Franklin Park in which $8,000 worth of goods — an iPad, jewelry box, a small fire proof safe and XBox games -were stolen, according to Franklin Park police.
Franklin Park police nabbed the suspects after the Northern Regional Police Department filed charges against the three for a Dec. 13 burglary at a home in Marshall Township, police said.
According to a criminal complaint, Northern Regional police searched Jenkins' 2006 Kia Sportage on Dec. 14 and found numerous pieces of jewelry inside. Northern Regional police also discovered jewelry was pawned at Yuriy’s Jewelry in Pittsburgh, the complaint said. Police said Franklin Park's burglary victims were able to identify their coins that Naill pawned and a pair of earrings found in Jenkins’ car, the complaint said.
Northern Regional police interviewed Naill, who gave a written statement detailing the Franklin Park burglary, including a description of the house and the items stolen. When Franklin Park police interviewed Naill on Dec. 22, police said she reaffirmed her statement, that she was with Jenkins and Sigal the night of the burglary.
She told police they drove off Interstate 79 at the Wexford exit, found a house on Nicholson Road and Sigal went inside while the two stayed in the car. Sigal came out carrying a jewelry box, a safe and a duffel bag of items before the three fled the area, police said.
Mitchell said Naill’s statement alone wasn't enough to provide corroborating evidence on the burglary-related charges but that there was enough evidence against the two women to charge receiving stolen property, which was waived to court.
Franklin Park police Detective Aron Leach requested that Judge Ford postpone the hearings to allow time to speak to his superiors regarding the evidence, but attorneys representing Naill and Jenkins said they didn’t want the cases postponed.
“I strenuously object on [Brittanny Jenkins'] behalf,” said Ron Hayward, attorney representing Jenkins. “She’s in jail. We want to get these cases moving your honor.”
Kim Hudak, public defender for Naill, said she had the same objection.
“There’s no basis for a 90-day postponement or even two weeks,” Hudak said.
Sigal’s attorney, Kelli Kleeb, agreed with the dismissal of his charges as well.
“There’s no evidence that could be permissible today against my client,” she said.
The trio faces more than a dozen other pending cases and remains in Allegheny County Jail on those charges.
Northern Regional police have charged Naill with felony counts of receiving stolen property, burglary and conspiracy. She also faces drug-related charges in Moon and Ross townships.
Jenkins is charged with felony counts of burglary and conspiracy by Northern Regional. She also is charged with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and other crimes in West View, Reserve, Ross and Ohio townships.
Sigal is charged by Northern Regional with felony counts of burglary, theft, criminal conspiracy and receiving stolen property. He also faces charges in West View and Shaler, and in Ross, Reserve and Ohio townships.