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Lawrenceville Murder Suspect Has Preliminary Hearing, Wedding

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The suspect charged in the death of a Lawrenceville man who was missing for weeks before his body was pulled out of the Ohio River in West Virginia earlier this year will stand trial.

Andre Gray's mother heard enough and had to leave the courtroom during Friday's hearing, not long after testimony that her son died of a gunshot wound to the head. Ballistics matched the bullet to the gun in the possession of the defendant, Hubert Wingate.

Wingate was arrested for an outstanding warrant after responding to a message from a police officer posing on Facebook as a woman in search of a date.

A tugboat captain found Gray's body in the Ohio River in Brooke County, West Virginia, back in March.

A key prosecution witness testified about how the body may have ended up in the water.

Eric Crawford, an inmate in the Westmoreland County Jail, testified that the defendant was one of two men who came to his house in New Kensington with a body in the trunk of the car.

He said he watched as the body was dumped into the river. He testified the body wouldn't sink, so gunshots were fired and it was stabbed with a knife.

The defense says it's not clear proof her client did it.

"We have a person who has the murder weapon within a month or so of the homicide, and we have Mr. Wingate arrested with the weapon several months later," said defense attorney Wendy Williams.

The judge disagreed and ordered Wingate to stand trial.

Not long after that he was married by a magistrate to his fiancée at City Court. The timing was a coincidence says his lawyer.

"The wedding was planned prior to the homicide hearing was set for today. So inmates at the Allegheny County Jail have the right to be married while incarcerated, and they had planned a wedding for this morning," Williams said.

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