PITTSBURGH (CBSMiami) – The armored car guard who stole $2.3 million before allegedly killing his partner and fleeing to Pompano Beach will be spared the death penalty, according to the Pennsylvania DA prosecuting the case.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. cited two reasons for the decision to seek a life prison sentence for Kenneth Konias Jr., architect of the armored car heist.
One would be to deny Konios the fame often attached to death sentences. The other would be to speed up the trial, which can happen in a matter of months if the death penalty is not on the table.
“I think the community is better served … by him having his day in court and having him disappear as quickly as possible,” Zappala said at a news conference a couple days after Konias’ arrest April 24 in Pompano Beach.
“If we’re successful in our case, this guy’s never leaving the joint,” Zappala said.
Konias is charged with murdering the other guard, 31-year-old Michael Haines, before stealing the money from the Garda Cash Logistics vehicle on Feb. 28.
Konias left money for his parents to find and then drove to Pompano Beach, where he admitted his part in the robbery to a prostitute and was turned in by one of her male friends in Pompano Beach.
The FBI and Pittsburgh homicide detectives have gone to Florida and otherwise spent the weeks since the robbery trying to trace Konias’ movements prior to his arrest and trace the stolen money.
At least $1.1 million has been recovered in Florida along with nearly $300,000 in Pennsylvania. The FBI has been trying to determine if more money is stashed somewhere or whether Konias spent it all, though Konias may have given a large sum to a cab driver who investigators said may have been trying to help Konias escape to an island in the Caribbean.