Princeton Craig Pate

Princeton Craig Pate


STEELE – The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man in connection with a homicide Tuesday night in Steele.  

Princeton Craig Pate, 60, of Steele was charged this morning with murder in the shooting death of Steven Ray Kirchner, 61, of 5175 Beason Cove Road, Steele.

Pate, who authorities said was a long-time friend of the victim, is in the St. Clair County Jail in Ashville with no bond set as of this morning.

The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 1:20 a.m. today about a suspect, Pate, that they had detained who stated he was involved in a shooting at a St. Clair County residence.

St. Clair County Assistant Sheriff Billy Murray said a welfare check was conducted at the victim’s residence, where Kirchner was found dead.

St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell said the victim was pronounced dead at his residence at 6:25 this morning.

The cause of death, Russell said, was from multiple gunshot wounds. The body was sent to the Alabama Forensic Sciences in Huntsville for an autopsy.

The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Center for Applied Forensics at Jacksonville State University, was processing the crime scene.