The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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July 16, 2014

Oakhurst murder suspect Jaquan Watson was involved in 2012 shooting



A police academy cadet’s Sunday homicide marks the second time in two years that Jaquan Watson has been charged in a city shooting.

The Johnstown teen, one of three young men charged in Tyrone Williams’ homicide, also was charged in early 2012 for his role in a Moxham robbery-turned attempted homicide.

And he’s still on probation, online court records show.

Watson, now 19, was initially one of several men facing attempted homicide and other counts in a drug-related case that is still playing its way through court, District Attorney Kelly Callihan said.

Then 17, Watson was charged as an adult and ended up receiving nine to 18 months for his role after pleading to two felonies: carrying a firearm without a license and conspiracy to robbery by force.

“It was the highest level we could prove,” Callihan said Wednesday, noting that Watson was among several individuals who went to Jeremy Johnson’s apartment in January 2012 seeking to take the man’s drugs.

“The charges fit,” she said, adding that Watson agreed to testify against the alleged lone triggerman, Giavon Grandinetti.

Complicating their case was the fact Johnson, the victim in the case, “has not been very cooperative,” Callihan said.

Callihan said that has become a troubling trend among young victims of violent, drug-related crimes.

Grandinetti currently awaits an August jury trial on attempted homicide, aggravated assault and other charges in the 2012 shooting.

Watson is now in Cambria County Prison without bond. The charge of criminal homicide is a non-bailable offense in Pennsylvania.

Alleged accomplices Fidel Cosby, 15, and Richard Cook, 21, were also in the jail Wednesday on the same charges.

David Hurst is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @tddavidhurst.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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