Alleged murderer told police he lured victim to basement, beat him with a window weight
MAHANOY CITY - An 18-year-old borough man was jailed Friday and charged with killing another man by beating him with a cast-iron window weight during a burglary earlier this week.
Jarvin Malik Huggins, of White Owl Manor, Room 17, was arraigned on felony charges of criminal homicide, burglary, robbery, aggravated assault, theft by unlawful taking and criminal trespass as well as misdemeanor offenses of theft by unlawful taking and unauthorized use of automobiles.
Huggins was arraigned Friday night by on-call Magisterial District Judge David A. Plachko, Port Carbon, and committed to Schuylkill County Prison without bail.
State police Trooper Edward Lizewski of the Frackville station charged Huggins with killing Gene M. Slavinsky inside his 408 W. Centre St. home about 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Found in basement
Slavinsky was found by borough police officers about 8 p.m. Thursday on the basement floor of the home with what appeared to be severe head injuries caused by blunt force trauma, Lizewski said in his affidavit of probable cause.
Schuylkill County Coroner Dr. David Moylan said an autopsy will be conducted this afternoon at Reading Hospital and Medical Center, West Reading, to determine the exact cause of death.
Lizewski said the investigation revealed that Slavinsky's pants were partially pulled down from the waist and the pockets were pulled out.
Throughout the early morning hours Friday, investigators conducted numerous interviews and learned that an Acer laptop, cash, prescription medication and other items were stolen from the home.
Lizewski said the window weight, about 16 inches long and weighing about 12 pounds, was found in the basement covered with blood, hair and skin.
The interviews pointed police in the direction of Huggins, who reportedly had the stolen laptop. Huggins asked another resident of While Owl Manor to help him unlock the laptop that had been password protected by Slavinsky.
Lizewski said officers interviewed Walter Donnella, of Mahanoy City, who said Huggins told him he beat someone to death and left "the stick" (window weight) he used at the scene. Donnella also said Huggins told him the crime occurred on West Centre Street and also offered him $50 to get him out of town, Lizewski said.
Returned the car
After learning that Huggins was trying to get out of the area, Lizewski said police went to White Owl Manor but, when they arrived at Huggins' room, they were told he fled through a window.
Huggins was taken into custody near White Owl Manor by Lt. William Guth, criminal investigative section commander of Troop L, Reading, and Sgt. Michael Brownmiller, crime unit supervisor.
Lizewski said Huggins consented to a search and police found a laptop inside a backpack. Huggins said a friend gave him the laptop but he couldn't identify the friend.
When they returned to the Frackville station, Lizewski said Huggins agreed to an interview and said he knew Slavinsky, was inside his home before and knew he had money inside.
Huggins said that about 9 a.m. Tuesday he went to the home, entered through a basement access door on the front porch and proceeded to the electrical panel box, where he turned the power to the home off and on to get Slavinsky's attention.
As Slavinsky entered the basement, Huggins told police he stood under the cellar stairs, picked up the weight and waited.
Huggins said Slavinsky looked in his direction and he struck Slavinsky in the head when he knew he had been seen.
As Slavinsky began to fall forward, Huggins said he struck him about five more times in the head and then went to the first floor of the home, where he stole the laptop, a jar of rolled coins and a Washington Redskins key rope with numerous keys.
Lizewski said Huggins admitted that he took Slavinsky's car and drove to White Owl Manor, where he dropped off the stolen items and then returned the vehicle. Huggins then said he took the coins to a store in Mahanoy City and that the jar was still in his room, where it was later recovered, Lizewski said.
Huggins will now have to appear for a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Anthony J. Kilker, Shenandoah.