Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/14/14
The man charged in the killing of Pennridge graduate Kevin Figaniak during a scuffle outside a Wheeling Jesuit University (W.V.) bar last summer was found not guilty Friday.
An Ohio County jury found Craig Peacock, an out-of-work pipeliner from Clearwater, Fla., not guilty after less than an hour of deliberations.
Figaniak, just starting his senior year at Wheeling Jesuit at the time of the incident, died of head injuries a day after the Aug. 31 fight.
Police said Figaniak was out with a friend at a bar in downtown Wheeling when he engaged in words with Peacock and other pipeline workers. The groups soon engaged in a street fight, and Figaniak was punched and kicked in the head before dying less than 24 hours later at Wheeling Hospital.
Peacock testified in his own defense Thursday and said he was unhappy about statements Figaniak made about his profession.
Ohio County prosecutors alleged Peacock kicked him after he had fallen to the street.
The jury had five choices: not guilty or guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.
Reports said that the Figaniak family began crying and left the courtroom quickly.
Figaniak, a senior business major, also was a member of the University’s club hockey team.
Figaniak had 14 goals and 8 assists as a regular player in 2013 for Wheeling Jesuit, a Division II school that finished 11-6 overall and 4-3 in the ECAC. Figaniak was a First Team All-Suburban One Continental Conference player in 2010 at Pennridge when he scored 43 goals.
Wheeling Jesuit is located just over the border in West Virginia and Ohio, about 60 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
Figaniak was a Suburban One Continental second-team choice in 2009 when he scored 54 goals for the Rams. In the summer he was a major contributor on a Philly team that stood out at the Adidas National Lacrosse Classic.
An Honor Roll student, Figaniak was spotted by Wheeling Jesuit at the Top 25 Recruiting camp. Figaniak played club lacrosse for LB3.
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