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DA: Two suspects jailed in trail murder

by By The Indiana Gazette on June 25, 2013 10:27 PM

CLYMER — Two men are in custody and charged with the shooting death of James Alexander, of Ernest, along a hiking trail on Monday evening.

State police arrested Gregory Patterson, 33, without incident late Tuesday afternoon then took Christopher Salsgiver, 22, into custody Tuesday evening when he reported to the state police station for questioning about Alexander’s killing, said Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty.

Patterson and Salsgiver, both of Glen Campbell, are lodged at Indiana County Jail without bond.

Alexander, 46, died after being shot once in the face on the trail in the southwest section of the borough.

Dougherty said investigators learned Alexander and the men had arranged to meet so Alexander could sell drugs to them.

“At this point it’s believed the Salsgiver pulled the trigger,” Dougherty said. “The investigators worked all night on this. They had certain people that were involved, who were witnesses who placed these individuals at the scene.

“Through further investigation by state police from Indiana, Greensburg, Kiski Valley and Punxsutawney, they were able to track down various leads that led us to believe that these two individuals were involved in the incident on the trail.”

The criminal complaints and affidavits filed against Patterson and Salsgiver were not available Tuesday evening.

Online court records show Patterson faces 15 charges including one count of homicide, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of robbery and six counts of conspiracy, all felonies; two misdemeanor counts of simple assault and two summary counts of harassment.

No hearing date had been scheduled, and no defense attorney has yet been listed for Patterson, according to the records.

An online record of the charges against Salsgiver was not posted Tuesday evening.

PHOTO: State police put up tape to limit access to the trail where James Alexander was shot Monday evening. Tom Peel/Gazette

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