Pa. guard appears in court in killing, $2.3M heist

An armored car guard accused of killing his partner and making off with more than $2 million returned to Pennsylvania on Thursday to face charges after his arrest last month in Florida.

Kenneth Konias Jr., 22, appeared before a federal judge in Pittsburgh and asked for a public defender. He didn't enter a plea.

Konias simply answered "yes" to questions from Judge Lisa P. Lenihan, who granted his request for a court-appointed attorney. Konias' public defender at the hearing, Christopher Brown, said afterward that he couldn't comment.

Konias, of Dravosburg, was arrested April 24 in Pompano Beach, Fla., after nearly two months on the run. Authorities allege he killed fellow guard Michael Haines and disappeared with $2.3 million. Haines' body was found inside a Garda Cash Logistics truck under a Pittsburgh bridge on Feb. 28.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig W. Haller told Konias he faces two federal charges — robbery and discharging a firearm in a crime of violence. Haller said Konias could face the death penalty if he's convicted of killing Hanes with a gun.

On Thursday, Pittsburgh police also served the city's warrants against Konias for homicide, robbery and violations of the firearms act.

Mike Manko, a spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, said more details will be available next week on how the different federal and local charges will be handled.

Konias came to Pittsburgh from a facility in Oklahoma City where prisoners are processed as they move between states.

At least $1.1 million has been recovered in Florida, along with nearly $300,000 in Pennsylvania. The FBI is still trying to determine whether more money is stashed somewhere or if Konias spent it all.

In a written statement released by Haines family spokeswoman Christina French, the victim's parents, Ann and Larry Haines, thanked investigators for their efforts.

"We have great respect for and faith in the judicial system that will take it from here," the statement read.