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Richland Man Charged in Burglaries Dies While Awaiting Trial

The Medical Examiner's Office confirms the death of Stephen Paul Hudec, 20, who on Wednesday waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

A 20-year-old Richland man, who was recently charged and held for court in a string of burglaries, has died.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office confirmed that Stephen Paul Hudec died at 11:42 a.m. Friday. The cause and manner of death have not been determined.

Hudec was charged in a series of crimes in the Pine-Richland area from July through October. Investigators accused him of breaking into homes and cars to steal thousands of dollars worth of electronics, a gun, cash and other items to support his drug addiction, according to court documents.

When he appeared Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge William K. Wagner, he waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was ordered to stand trial.

Prosecutors withdrew one of the charges against him, but he still faced 31 counts that includes  burglary; theft; loitering and prowling at night; receiving stolen property; and conspiracy.

He also faced nearly 40 similar charges in Hampton Township.

tina December 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Why couldn't have left the family grieve. This doesn't need to be public knowledge. This is shameful on your behalf.
Darian December 22, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Please post updates about this as you learn about them!! Was it his drug addiction that killed him? Are there any suspicions as to what caused his death? Rest in paradise, Steve.
tina December 22, 2012 at 05:20 PM
It's not public record and really not anyone's business. This family has been through a lot so they need to be left alone.
jlz December 23, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Addiction is a terrible disease. No parent should have to suffer the pain of losing their child regardless of the circumstances. My prayers are with him and his family.
Mark A. December 23, 2012 at 04:08 AM
A local teen dying in custody is a perfectly valid news story.
Cindy Cusic Micco December 23, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Actually, he was out on bond.
Unknown December 23, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Prayers should be sent to stephen's family... They have been threw so much and have so much love for him, they lost their child, brother, and friend regardless of everything else.
Lori December 23, 2012 at 04:04 PM
"Mark A." He was not in custody, people need to stop relying on the media for the news. They never get their stories correct and never follow up on stories in a good way. Good news should be the only news and you wonder why this world remembers the names of people who have done wrong and not the people who saved lives. Considering the family is in mourning, there should be enough respect to leave this family deal in peace and not post anymore articles on the internet. THIS ARTICLE NEEDS TO BE TAKEN DOWN IN RESPECT OF THE HUDEC FAMILY
Jordan December 24, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Sad that the media portrays only his faults.. Addiction is tough to overcome and effects many. I'm sure the people who really know him know what a great person he was, and that is what he should be remembered for.
Christine December 26, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Addiction is a disease. My family has also been affected by this terrible disease. Some people who experiment with drugs do not become addicts but for some unknown reason genetics for example make the other people more prone to this horrible disease. We are not winning the war on drugs and our society needs to formulate a new plan if we are going to help people who are addicted to drugs or better yet stop people from ever using drugs. Unless you have walked in anyone shoes, do not judge this family or anyone else. May God bless this family.
Rich Lander January 03, 2013 at 04:28 AM
The short answer here is that all of these comments can be viewed as "right" . Unfortunately, many families that are held hostage by drugs have a “front row seat” to pure evil. Nothing will stand between the addict and their poison – lies, deceit, and stealing from family members are often just the “first course”, before heading out to devour the world. What I would like to share is to simply perspective from another part of a similar equation – the crime victim. This young man admittedly victimized dozens of local residents. The feeling of violation, when you come home from work on a cold Fall night and realize that someone has broken into your house and gone through your personal belongings - is immeasurable. Many sleepless nights - in fear that “they” will come back - exhausting, and immeasurable. Living in Richland for over 45 years, where once we didn’t have to lock our doors: innocence lost - immeasurable. Preparing to protect your family for the next time – unthinkable. Losing a child . . . . beyond immeasurable I'm told. The strength of Our Lord’s love . . . enough to carry us through more than we will know. My situation pales in comparison to that of the others mentioned here. There are many victims of drugs and young souls who have lost their way (yet accountable), so let’s all be “right”: we need to ask Him to help this grieving family, to help all those in need of His saving grace, and remind ourselves of His forgiveness.
GR January 10, 2013 at 07:03 PM
@ 'Cindy Cusic Micco' -- Wouldn't that have been an important detail to include in your story?! The fact that he died while awaiting trial makes this a valid story, regardless of the circumstances; I think, Cindy, you have more journalistic responsibility to close the 'gap on details,' especially the part about him NOT being in custody at the time (but hopefully, we would have heard about the story on a much wider basis at that point)…

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