The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

January 7, 2014

Police nab fugitive in 2009 slaying

By Joe Pinchot and Melissa Klaric
Herald Staff Writers

SHENANGO VALLEY — Andrew D. Craig is a slender fellow, presumably the reason he was given the nickname “Chunky.”

But, for the last four years, Craig also has been known by another identifier, “fugitive.”

That ended Monday, when Sharon police arrested him on charges related to the Dec. 20, 2009, slaying of Troy L. Coleman in Farrell.

Craig’s detention was a source of grief for a couple of women who cried as he was led before a district judge for arraignment.

Police arrested Craig at 1:41 p.m. at 274 White Ave.

“Information developed that he was there,” Sharon Police Chief Michael Menster said. “Officers went into the house and apprehended him without incident.”

Craig, 23, has been wanted since Nov. 5, 2009, on charges of homicide, robbery and conspiracy to commit those crimes.

Senior District Judge William L. Fagley arraigned Craig at District Court in Farrell and told Craig the homicide charges are non-bailable offenses, meaning he cannot be released from jail while they are active. Fagley set a preliminary hearing for 12:45 p.m. Jan 16 in the Farrell court.

Three others have been sentenced to prison terms for the crime: Philip C. “Dred” Phifer, 20 to 40 years for third-degree murder; Anthony D. “Dupis” Scott, 14è to 29 years for attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit attempted robbery; and Joshua O. “Rock” Norman, 10 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit robbery.

Scott said he was with Craig, Norman and Lamont D. “Mont Mont” Hailstock when they learned Coleman was passed out in a car in the 1200 block of Roemer Boulevard.

Hailstock cooperated with authorities and was not prosecuted.

Scott said he knew Coleman to be a Detroit drug dealer and figured he had cash and drugs on him. The quartet planned to rob Coleman, but wanted a gun to offset the weapon they assumed Coleman had, Scott said at his plea hearing.

The group came upon Phifer, informed them of their plans, and he got his gun.

Phifer slipped his hand in the partially opened window of the car and popped the lock. Coleman, 38, was pulled from the car and woke up. Phifer shot him five times with a 9 mm handgun, mortally wounding him, Southwest Mercer County Regional police said.

Coleman had more than 2 ounces of crack on him, police said.

Although the case has been out of the headlines since Scott was sentenced Jan. 5, 2011, police have put out Crime Solvers notices and worked behind the scenes trying to find Craig.

Hermitage police on Wednesday received information that he was in an apartment at 1500 Parke Drive. They said they searched the rooms and did not locate Craig, but found a .22-caliber rifle that had been stolen from Beaver County in a closet.

Nigel A.P. Taylor, 30, of that address, was arrested on a charge of receiving stolen property and jailed for failing to post bond. He faces a preliminary hearing at 9:15 a.m. Thursday.