The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 25, 2013

Assault defendant seeking new trial

EBENSBURG —  A Johnstown man in prison for assaulting another city man – an altercation that led to the other man’s shooting death – is seeking a new trial because he says his sentence is illegal.

Jharon Dixon, 25, is seeking relief from his sentence of 33 to 66 months in state prison. He contends that errors were made in his sentencing and claims that his defense attorney was ineffective.

Dixon pleaded guilty in September to aggravated assault and fleeing to avoid apprehension in exchange for prosecutors dropping a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of James Pelham, 38.

Dixon’s brother Taevon, 22, last month pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and was sentenced by Judge Timothy Creany to 171⁄2 to 40 years in state prison.

Taevon shot and killed Pelham, who authorities said was out celebrating after getting a full-time job that included health care benefits for his four children.

Pelham, the son of a Washington, D.C., police officer, was shot in the chest early on July 11, 2010, on the street outside Taevon Dixon’s house in the city’s Old Conemaugh Borough neighborhood.

City police said Pelham had been drinking with friends and went to the house on Church Street looking for what he thought was an after-hours party.

The Dixon brothers came outside and confronted Pelham after he got out of his car.

According police, Jharon Dixon got into a physical confrontation with Pelham and Taevon pulled out a gun and shot twice. The second shot hit Pelham.

An appeal prepared by Jharon Dixon alleges that the gravity score and points – a scale indicating the seriousness of an offense – used in determining his sentence were incorrect. He also alleges that there were inaccuracies in his presentence investigation which resulted in a sentencing error.

On Monday, Creany appointed a Blair County attorney with the law firm of Lucas Kelleher to assist Dixon in his appeal.

Cambria County Deputy District Attorney Scott Lilly said a hearing date has not been set.

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
  • Cause of West End fire still undetermined

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday morning at a vacant structure on the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not yet been determined.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former worker, pal jailed in Logan Township thrift store robbery

    A former employee and another man have been jailed on charges they robbed a Blair County thrift store, a crime foiled when a current employee told police she recognized the first masked suspect’s voice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Rents change with new rules

    A change in federal housing regulations raises the rent for 28 public housing tenants and reduces the rent for 29 tenants in Johnstown Housing Authority communities.

    July 21, 2014

  • Memorial programs recognized

    A national hospital ranking report recognizes Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center as high performing in four categories.

    July 21, 2014

  • Residents seek Sonman memorial

    Relatives of workers involved in one of the biggest mine disasters in the region’s history are working to keep the victims’ memories from fading. Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1940 Sonman Mine explosion, which claimed 63 lives.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Foul play ruled out in train fatality

    Foul play has been ruled out in the death of a Windber man found struck by a train near Seward early Sunday, investigators say.

    July 21, 2014

  • Correction 07/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

  • Concussion prevention project progressing

    A Johnstown-area hospital and school district are a step ahead of the president's call for more research into sports injuries, having developed a groundbreaking concussion-prevention program aimed at helping all athletes, particularly students, avoid brain injuries.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local briefs 7/22/2014

    July 21, 2014


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.

     View Results
House Ads