More details have been released about the investigation into the December 12th slaying of Peter Spencer, a 29 year old Jamaican born resident of Pittsburgh who was shot and killed in Venango County. Venango County District Attorney Shawn White is awaiting the results from laboratory tests on the victim, a 25 year old man who was taken into custody as the shooter, and three individuals who were also at the scene before deciding on a charging recommendation. Peter Spencer was shot a total of nine times according to a Pittsburgh based advocacy group named Black Political Empowerment Project which is demanding hate crime charges be issued against the shooter. Anyone who may have information about the events leading up to the shooting should call for Trooper Hagan of the Pennsylvania State Police in Franklin at (814)676-6596. Peter Benardo Spencer will be buried today at 10AM.
According to Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, 75% of Pennsylvania Counties have agreed to the terms of a national settlement with pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis which would see about a billion dollars for Pennsylvania. In our region Crawford, Forest, and Venango were not in the AG’s list of counties which approved the terms of the settlement though they did vote to approve the terms; Erie, Clarion, Mercer, and Warren were all on the list. The deadline for counties to accept the deal is Sunday.
Erie County Authorities are investigating an attempted murder in North East which happened on Tuesday. The victim is a 21 year old resident of Erie named Juleus Windham, a black man, who was shot twice and beaten. Thus far police have identified a suspicious vehicle which is a tan colored Buick with heavily tinted windows and a Florida Seminoles sticker on the rear window and have developed some persons of interest for the attack. Anybody with information that could possibly help the investigation should call (717)783-5599.
$2.4 million dollars in grants from the state have been awarded to help make major improvements to the Brady Trail in Clarion and Armstrong Counties. The money will be used for improvements including access for the disabled, landscaping, and work to increase the safety of Brady Tunnel. Brady Trail and Tunnel are important links in a planned trail that runs through western Pennsylvania all the way from Erie to Pittsburgh.
Yesterday, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court determined that the smell of marijuana alone is not grounds for a warrantless search of a vehicle by police. The decision by the court was made in the case of Timothy Barr, who was arrested for possessing marijuana and a firearm in 2018 while riding as a passenger in a car that was pulled over by police. The case was sent back to Lehigh County Court after the decision.
The Pennsylvania State Police report that a 40 year old man was killed in a rollover crash in Crawford County on Tuesday. John Mercier of Hartstown was not wearing a seatbelt when he was ejected from his F-250 Supercab as it rolled three times after hitting an icy patch of Adamsville Road in East Fallowfield Township. He was deceased before anyone could arrive at the scene.
A Warren County man was hospitalized after suffering an injury during an accident while shooting a firearm. The victim whose name was not revealed, was injured in the left arm by a malfunction of the weapon when it fired and was taken to Corry Memorial Hospital.
The Pennsylvania State Police will be stepping up patrols tonight and through the weekend to ensure safe driving conditions. Troopers will be watching for signs of DUI and for aggressive or speeding drivers. Authorities say that motorists should not hesitate to call 9-1-1 if they encounter a drunk driver; let’s all have a safe and happy New Year.