The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 16, 2012

Murder suspect will be returned

— The Meyersdale murder suspect who was picked up Wednesday in Louisiana is expected to be returned to Pennsylvania within days to face a charge of homicide in the strangulation death of a 19-year-old woman, state police said Friday.

Police said Jonathan William Beal, 23, has waived extradition proceedings, clearing the way for him to be transported to Somerset County.

Police were arranging for his transport, and no details were released.

Once he is brought back to Somerset County, the suspect is to be arraigned by a district judge on charges of criminal homicide, aggravated assault and abuse of a corpse in the death of Justine Marie Jackson, also of Meyersdale.

He then will be lodged in the county prison without bond because a homicide charge is not a bailable offense by a magistrate in Pennsylvania.

Jackson was reported missing Oct. 28 after she had not been seen for several weeks.

Her body was found by a hiker Sunday in a shallow grave off the Great Allegheny Passage, a biking and hiking trial in Larimer Township. Both lived near the trail.

The victim died of strangulation by ligature, but police have not disclosed what was used to strangle her.

Authorities allege that Jackson was killed Sept. 14, the day she was last seen alive with Beal.

Although police did not file charges against him until Tuesday, they said that he apparently left the area after his trailer along Scratch Hill Road was searched on Oct. 29.

The U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force and officers from the Jefferson Parish, La., sheriff’s office took Beal into custody around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday at a private residence in Marrero, a New Orleans suburb. Beal since has been lodged in the Jefferson Parish Corrections Center.

The suspect told police he had ended an intimate relationship with Jackson due to her drug use, according to court records.

Police also allege that he told several people in the Meyersdale area that he had killed Jackson and buried her near “the bike trail.”

Although the victim reportedly told friends that she thought she was pregnant with Beal’s child, authorities have not commented on that report.

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Flower2 Flowers' color doesn't have to fade

    Those pots of bright yellow daffodils, Easter lilies and hyacinths gracing the home this weekend do not have to end up in the trash bin when the blooms start to fade.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Refinancing could lower Richland School District's debt by $2.2M

    When Richland School District borrowed funds for its high school project a decade ago, board members circled “2014” on their calendars as a likely first option to refinance the debt.

    April 20, 2014

  • Pipeline to carry shale byproducts

    An 8-inch transmission line crossing Pennsylvania, including four municipalities in Cambria County, is being repurposed to carry some of the by-products from Marcellus and Utica shale production.

    April 20, 2014

  • Judge Creany, Timothy Vets courts gain support

    Signs of success are mostly anecdotal in Pennsylvania’s special courts for veterans, but judicial officials and lawmakers are so convinced of the program, they’re lobbying to expand it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • pow21 Person of the Week: ‘I wanted to help’: Teen uses birthday to show love for children, animals

    Anastasia Machik’s love for children and animals inspired her to forgo her birthday gifts for the sake of the two.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students taking steps to call attention to child abuse

    An upcoming community walk will help raise awareness of child abuse.

    April 20, 2014

  • In brief: PennDOT reports weekly work schedule

    April 20, 2014

  • District Deaths April 21, 2014

    April 20, 2014

  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads