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July 3, 2014

2nd man charged in 2013 downtown murder

— A second suspect was charged Wednesday in connection with the shooting death of a Pittsburgh man in Johnstown more than a year ago.

Dante Levaughn Herring, 34, of the 100 block of Glenn Street, Johnstown, was charged with criminal homicide in the slaying of 37-year-old Jamil Gray.

Gray’s bullet-riden body was found lying in Rowley Alley near Lincoln and Union streets downtown early on June 28, 2013.

He died from multiple gunshot wounds, an autopsy showed.

City detectives last month charged another Johnstown man, Derick “Nuke” Stephens, 36, of the 100 block of Rear Chapin Street, in connection with Gray’s murder.

In a criminal complaint, detectives said they found a cellphone and 15 spent 9mm shell casings in the area of a parking lot leading to Gray’s body.

During the yearlong investigation, authorities pored over cellphone records and interviewed numerous people.

A woman told authorities she was at a Johnstown bar when Herring offered her $500 for Gray’s home address because he was planning to kill Gray, the complaint said.

Herring and Gray were onetime friends from the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, police said.

Detectives also interviewed a man who said that on the night of the murder he was sitting in his car near the house were Gray was staying. The man said he saw a person he believed to be Herring get out of a vehicle and walk behind a business, then heard gunshots. Herring climbed back into the vehicle and drove off, the complaint said.

Herring, known as “Mad Ball,” also is charged with aggravated assault and illegally possessing a firearm. He has prior felony convictions for robbery and burglary.

Detectives also are investigating whether Herring was involved in the 2012 shooting of Aaron Young.

Authorities said Young was shot July 16, 2012, outside a residence at 700 block Kennedy Avenue.

Officers found 11 spent 9mm shell casings at that scene. The state police crime lab in Greensburg compared them to the casings found at the Gray murder and determined they were fired from the same gun, the complaint said.

Herring is in a state prison on unrelated charges and had not been arraigned as of Thursday.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.

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