Suspects in Indiana County murder testify

Two suspects charged in the disappearance and death of 19-year-old Hayden Garreffa testified in court Friday about the brutal attack on the Dilltown man last October. Watch the report from the courthouse: click video above, who is charged as an adult and 18-year-old Mia Catalfano both testified during a preliminary hearing for the six other suspects charged in connection with Garreffa’s death became. The six other defendants are 21-year-old Desean Garcia Alvarez Hammond, Indiana; 21-year-old Isaac Joel Buchkoski; 18-year-old Taylyn Nashell Edwards; 20-year-old Thomas Alan Rivera; 18-year-old Summer Isabella Settlemyer; and 18-year-old Jesse Lee Wadsworth, all from Johnstown, Cambria County. Investigators determined that Garreffa had been kidnapped in the run-up to the murders, both of which took place on the afternoon of October 20. An autopsy revealed that Garreffa was beaten and stabbed multiple times. Investigators said Buchkoski, Garreffa’s cousin, and Settlemyer orchestrated the attack. “It’s an incredibly cruel situation that makes absolutely no sense,” Indiana County District Attorney Robert Manzi said. Hayward and Catalfano testified that all eight suspects were in a van that showed up at Garreffa’s home. Once Garreffa was in the van, investigators allege the suspects drove to an isolated location, where Garreffa was pulled from the vehicle and beaten. Investigators said one of the suspects eventually pulled out a knife and stabbed Garreffa multiple times. His body was left in a wooded area and found two days later. “I cry several times a day,” Garreffa’s mother, Alysia Petak, said. “I always feared something like this would happen because he was so trusting and just wanted to make friends.” Both suspects told the court that Garreffa was targeted for inappropriately touching Settlemyer and Edwards at some point in the past . Petak said Garreffa has autism and struggles with multiple behavioral issues. Petak said she is working to get a Garreffa consultation. Prosecutors said both Hayward and Catalfano waived their preliminary hearings. All charges against the remaining six suspects have been brought to trial. Attorney Tim Burns, representing Edwards, told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that there are still many unanswered questions. “I feel like there are some credibility issues here based on what was presented today. In fact, one of the witnesses didn’t even see who committed the unfortunate act of stabbing the young man,” Burns said. All eight suspects are being held in jail without bail and are charged with both kidnapping and murder.

Two suspects charged in the disappearance and death of 19-year-old Hayden Garreffa testified in court Friday about the brutal attack on the Dilltown man last October.

Watch the report from the courthouse: click the video above.

Harmony Hayward, 14, who is charged as an adult, and Mia Catalfano, 18, both testified during a preliminary hearing for the six other suspects charged in connection with Garreffa’s death.

The six other defendants are 21-year-old Desean Garcia Alvarez of Hammond, Indiana; 21-year-old Isaac Joel Buchkoski; 18-year-old Taylyn Nashell Edwards; 20-year-old Thomas Alan Rivera; 18-year-old Summer Isabella Settlemyer; and 18-year-old Jesse Lee Wadsworth, all from Johnstown, Cambria County.

Investigators determined that Garreffa had been kidnapped in the run-up to the murders, both of which took place on the afternoon of October 20. An autopsy revealed that Garreffa was beaten and stabbed multiple times.

Investigators said Buchkoski, Garreffa’s cousin, and Settlemyer orchestrated the attack.

“It’s an incredibly cruel situation that makes absolutely no sense,” Indiana County District Attorney Robert Manzi said.

Hayward and Catalfano testified that all eight suspects were in a van that showed up at Garreffa’s home. Once Garreffa was in the van, investigators allege the suspects drove to an isolated location, where Garreffa was pulled from the vehicle and beaten. Investigators said one of the suspects eventually pulled out a knife and stabbed Garreffa multiple times. His body was left in a wooded area and found two days later.

“I cry several times a day,” Garreffa’s mother, Alysia Petak, said. “I was always afraid that something like that would happen because he was so trusting and just wanted to make friends.”

Both suspects told the court that Garreffa was targeted for inappropriately touching Settlemyer and Edwards at some point in the past.

Petak said Garreffa has autism and struggles with multiple behavioral issues. Petak said she is working to get a Garreffa consultation.

Prosecutors said both Hayward and Catalfano waived their preliminary hearings. All charges against the remaining six suspects have been brought to trial.

Attorney Tim Burns, representing Edwards, told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that there are still many unanswered questions.

“I feel like there are some credibility issues here based on what was presented today; in fact, one of the witnesses did not even see who committed the unfortunate act of stabbing the young man,” Burns said.

All eight suspects are being held in prison without bail and are charged with both kidnapping and murder.

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