The story behind a woman whose body was found in Fairmount Park in June, handcuffed, stabbed, and shot to death, started with sexual favors in Pittsburgh, according to an assistant district attorney.
Toy C'harda Bryant, 26; Shintele Smith, 28; and Palliadium Smith, 30, allegedly traveled from the Philadelphia area to Pittsburgh early June 13 to provide sexual "service" to a client named Sal. They also stole $800 from his house, Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Louis Tumolo said Tuesday.
Bryant kept the money and slipped it to a friend at a rest stop after leaving Pittsburgh, angering Shintele Smith and Palliadium Smith, he said. The Smiths are not related, he said, and Palliadium Smith uses the alias Shavon Armstrong.
Early June 14, the women kidnapped Bryant in Chester, where she lived. They handcuffed her inside a car and enlisted Shintele Smith's boyfriend, Keith Bullock, to drive the woman to near the Mann Center on Georges Hill Drive.
"Once they're into the park, Shavon directs Keith Bullock to pull over the car. Shintele and Shavon get out and drag the decedent into the dark, into the tree line, where they ultimately stab her, shoot her in the back of the head, and then run back to the car and leave her. So Keith Bullock never gets out of the car," Tumolo said.
Bullock, of Chester; Shintele Smith, of Southwest Philadelphia; and Palliadium Smith, of Wilkes-Barre, on Tuesday appeared separately before Municipal Court Judge Joyce Eubanks to waive their rights to preliminary hearings.
All three were held for trial for murder, criminal conspiracy, and kidnapping, and are being held without bail.
The trio pleaded not guilty, but Bullock is expected to plead guilty before trial and testify against his codefendants, said Tumolo and Evan Hughes, Bullock's attorney.
All three defendants have given statements to homicide detectives, their attorneys said. The statements were not read in court.
Shintele Smith fired the fatal bullets, said Tumolo, who declined to say who stabbed the woman.
Shintele Smith told the judge that she takes medication for intermittent explosive disorder. The disorder is characterized by outbursts of anger and violence disproportionate to the situation, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
"Boyfriend, yes. Accomplice, no," Hughes said of Bullock's relationship with Shintele Smith.
"Keith has been very up front with authorities as to what his activities were on the night in question. He's looking forward to the resolution of the matter," added Hughes, who noted that his client did not know Bryant.
Said attorney Qawi Abdul Rahman, who represents Palliadium Smith: "The statement that my client gave states that she was there but she was not involved in any manner other than being there. And in Pennsylvania, being merely present at a conspiratorial operation does not make you a conspirator."
Shintele Smith's lawyer, Richard Giuliani, said, "The only thing I can tell you is, it's an ugly case, and we need to get to he bottom of what really happened."
Tumolo called the case "crazy."
"It's surreal," he said. "This is something you see in a movie, really. It's hard to believe this went down the way that it did. But these are the facts that we have."