WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. - Three people have been arrested in connection with the death of a Washington & Jefferson College football player last year.
Timothy McNerney was robbed and beaten to death last October while walking to his dorm with a friend, who was also attacked, police said.
His body was found just off campus, in the parking lot of an auto body shop. His iPhone and wallet were stolen, police said.
In a news conference Tuesday night, police said 23-year-old Adam Hankins, 24-year-old Eric Wells and 23-year-old Troy Simmons were arrested following a 10-month investigation.
McNerney’s mother, Denise McNerney, said she’s happy arrests were made, but she realizes that nothing can bring back her son.
“Every day I was thinking that he couldn’t have died for no reason. We need to find out what the reason is and who did it. And they need to have some punishment,” Denise McNerney said.
Washington Police Lt. Dan Stanek said investigators believed robbery was the motive for McNerney’s death.
“We’ve always believed robbery was the motive. It was just, we don’t feel like they were out actively looking to rob anybody. It was just an encounter that progressed into that and progressed into the assault and unfortunate death,” Stanek said.
According to police, Wells admitted to hitting Timothy McNerney once in the face, then knocking him to the ground unconscious.
Police said all three men have ties to Washington, but not to W&J. They are facing charges that include criminal homicide and robbery.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 14.
“At least I know who they are and I want them to know who I am because I am angry,” Denise McNerney said. “I never thought I could be angry, and I was so angry initially, angry looking at them and thinking about three people on one person. It's cruel, unusual, unbelievable.”
Denise McNerney said her son died for $40.
“He had no money. He had a debit card with $40 in his account. Really?” she said. “You always have to be cautious. There are people out there who want to hurt you over nothing. Those are the things I wish I’d have told him more. Look around you more.”
McNerney’s friend, Hannah Aloia, said she’s relieved arrests were made.
“I feel that justice has been done and I feel that our whole community can start our school year and know we’re in a safe environment now,” Aloia said.
In a statement, W&J thanked police and the district attorney for their work leading to the arrests.