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South Park murder suspect pleads guilty

Michael Corney, 34, who shot and killed Chadwick Malone, 31, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Sept. 2020, pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree on Monday.

Corney said he got to the apartment and “had words, exchanged words” before he pulled a firearm and shot Malone. He said he never should have had a gun, but he did.

The Morgantown Police Department was called to the shooting on Sept. 23, 2020, where they found Malone on the sidewalk with multiple gunshot wounds. 

Prosecutor Perri DeChristopher said detectives with the MPD had to look back about a week prior to the shooting to find a motive.

They found evidence there was a disagreement between Corney and a woman at the Mount Morris truck stop, DeChristopher said. The disagreement was physical, with Corney putting his hands on the woman, but the basis of the argument was over an issue “we never really understood.”

Then, on Sept. 23, Corney went to the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue where he was confronted by Malone, who was connected to the woman, DeChristopher said. An argument ensued and Corney shot Malone. 

DeChristopher said they believe the motive was the disagreement the week before.

She also said Malone and Corney being at the same location may have been set up as some kind of drug deal or conversation about the use of controlled substances, which led to them both being in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Judge Susan Tucker accepted Corney’s plea. He faces 10-40 years in prison and a sentencing hearing was scheduled for November. 

Corney has been held in the North Central Regional Jail since he was arrested during a traffic stop on East Brockway Avenue, near Marilla Park, on Oct. 13, 2020. He was indicted on first degree murder by the February 2021 grand jury.

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