Police: Teen admits to man’s murder in text messages to friend

By Terri Hill | September 19, 2018

Allegheny County Police allege an 18-year-old man told a friend he was eager to kill someone the same night he shot a friend of his in the head and stole a bag of marijuana from his apartment.

According to a criminal complaint, police say on Jan. 27 Elihah Price, of Pittsburgh, sent a text to a friend saying he was “now tweeking to catch a body,” meaning Price is eager to kill someone. The person responded a minute later “Nothing good ever happens to people who catch bodies.”

Less than 12 hours later, police say Price shot and killed Craig Rhodes-Mitchell inside his McKeesport apartment.

Police have charged Price with homicide, robbery and recklessly endangering another person.

Mr. Mitchell “sold marijuana from his residence” and through a series of text messages that started at 12:48 p.m. arranged to meet Price at his apartment later that evening, police alleged in the complaint.

Mr. Price arrived at Mr. Mitchell’s apartment at about 9:50 p.m.  At 9:59 p.m., a tenant called 911 saying they heard a single gunshot followed by the sound of someone running down the apartment stairs, the complaint said.

Mr. Mitchell was found shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene at 10:13 p.m. Police found a bag of suspected marijuana in his microwave, two handguns and a 9mm shell casing.

On the day of the shooting, Price texted the unidentified friend at 10:21 a.m. saying, I’m not chilling till I catch somebody.” Price said in a text sent to the same person at 7:48 p.m. “Baby I’m about to do some hot shit tonight.”

At 11:18 p.m. he sent another text that said, “Look on [Facebook] see if you see anything about Craig.” Five minutes later in another text, Price appears to be telling his friend he is going to kill someone else when he says, “Reck is getting it next baby, I promise and that’s for my brother.”

Police say the witness told officers during a Sept. 18 interview that Mr. Price confessed to killing Mr. Mitchell that night. The witness also told police that Price gave them a bag of cash and a “large package” of marijuana to keep for him the night of the shooting.

The bag of marijuana is “consistent” with a Ziploc bag sealing machine that was found in Mr. Mitchell’s apartment, police wrote in the complaint.

Price is in the Allegheny County Jail after being denied bond and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28.

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com





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