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December 8, 2013

Guilty plea in Moxham murder

EBENSBURG — A Johnstown man faces up to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty Saturday to third- degree murder in the Feb. 6 shooting death of Joshua Scott Price in a Cypress Avenue home.

Shahliek Maxwell Greene, 20, pleaded guilty and avoided a homicide trial scheduled to begin this week in Cambria County court.

The killing allegedly occurred over a vehicle, authorities said.

Price was shot at least four times with a .380-caliber handgun and died at the scene, investigators testified during Greene’s preliminary hearing in late March.

Emergency medical personnel found Price at the scene of the shooting without a pulse and he was not breathing, police said.

Greene fled the scene and police eventually found him at a home on Von Lunen Road.

Assistant District Attorney Jessica Aurandt and defense attorney David L. Beyer of Ebensburg presented the plea agreement Saturday afternoon before Judge David J. Tulowitzki, District Attorney Kelly Callihan confirmed.

Tulowitzki called the unusual Saturday court session in order to be able to notify prospective jurors that their services would not be needed, Callihan said.

“He really wanted to try to take (the plea hearing) so we can call off the jury,” Callihan said.

Evidence would show the shooting occurred after a dispute became physical, Callihan said, explaining the third-degree homicide plea.

“We felt the highest level of crime we could prove was third-degree murder,” she said, noting that the plea agreement does not include any minimum sentencing recommendation.

“The maximum penalty is 20 to 40 years,” she said.

“We will argue at sentencing for the maximum.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 27.

Randy Griffith is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/photogriffer57.

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