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LIVE UPDATES: Confessed murderer of Pitt student will spend life in prison without parole

PITTSBURGH — Matthew Darby, the man accused in the beating death of Pitt student Alina Sheykhet, has accepted a plea deal.

UPDATE: 5:55 p.m.

Darby's lawyer told Channel 11 that his client accepts full responsibility for the murder, which is why the case moved so quickly.

"He took responsibility right away.  As i said in the courtroom, this plea was within one year of the crime. It's unheard of.  He plead to life imprisonment.  He always accepted responsibility and when i talked to him, he was very remorseful," Thomas Farrell said.


UPDATE: 3:50 p.m.

Sheykhet's family is talking about her killer being sentenced to life in prison without parole.

UPDATE: 3:30 p.m.

The court has accepted the proposed plea deal and Darby will spend life in prison without parole for Sheykhet's murder.

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.

Alina Sheykhet's parents just gave their victim impact statements, calling confessed murderer Matthew Darby "evil" and telling him to "go to hell."

Channel 11's Courtney Brennan was in court and will have a full report on Channel 11 News at 5 p.m.

UPDATE 11:53 a.m. 

There was a lot of emotion in the courtroom Wednesday morning.

Every seat in the courtroom was taken.  Alina Sheykhet’s family, friends, roommates and police officers who worked this case were all in the courtroom as Matthew Darby pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Alina.

Matthew Darby told the judge he was pleading guilty because he is guilty.

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UPDATE 10:48 a.m.

Matthew Darby will be formally sentenced at 2 pm after hearing victim statements from Alina’s family and roommates.

UPDATE 10:33 a.m. Oct. 17 

Matthew Darby, the man accused in the beating death of Pitt student Alina Sheykhet, has accepted a plea deal.

Pitt student murdered: Timeline of suspect Matthew Darby's past

The district attorney took the death penalty off the table in exchange for the a guilty plea on first degree murder charges. Darby will spend life in prison.

5 things to know about Alina Sheykhet


The suspect in the brutal killing of a Pitt student last year is scheduled to appear Wednesday at the Allegheny County Courthouse for a pretrial motion hearing.

Investigators said Matthew Darby stabbed and beat Alina Sheykhet, 20, to death in her Oakland apartment last October.

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Darby, Sheykhet’s ex-boyfriend, fled to South Carolina before being captured by police and brought back to Pittsburgh.

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Court records show Darby had been served with a protection from abuse order just days before Sheykhet was found dead in her Cable Place apartment.

The Allegheny County district attorney plans to seek the death penalty in the case.

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