2 charged in slaying of Wheeling Jesuit student

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WHEELING, W.Va. – Two suspects in the slaying of a Wheeling Jesuit University student were arrested Tuesday on murder charges.


Craig Tyler Peacock, 22, of Clewiston, Fla., and Jarrett Mathis Chandler, 24, of Winnfield, La., are being held at the Northern Regional jail on $1 million cash bond each following arraignments in Ohio County Magistrate Court, Wheeling police said in a news release.


Peacock and Chandler are accused of killing Kevin Figaniak, 21, of Perkasie. Figaniak and a friend were walking toward the Wheeling Jesuit campus when they were attacked about 1:45 a.m. Saturday, police said.


Figaniak was pronounced dead just after 3 a.m. Sunday at a Pittsburgh hospital, said the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office in Pennsylvania.


Peacock and Mathis were arrested around 12:15 a.m. Tuesday at a campsite that is frequented by oil and gas workers, police said.


Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said that the investigation is continuing but he declined to provide details.


Media outlets reported Figaniak’s friend told police they were attacked by three or four men.


Figaniak was a senior business major who played on Wheeling Jesuit’s varsity lacrosse team. He also was a member of the school’s club hockey team.


“‘Why?’ was what people kept on asking,” Wheeling Jesuit President Rev. James Fleming said Tuesday at a news conference. “‘Why would this happen?’ There’s no good answer for why it would happen. There is evil in the world, and we saw the results of it firsthand.”


The university said in a posting on its website it has received an outpouring of support from alumni, the Wheeling community, neighboring colleges and friends.


“We ask that you keep Kevin Figaniak’s family and the WJU community in your prayers during this time of mourning. It is through this support that we draw the strength to cope with the loss of our fallen brother,” the university said.


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