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June 17, 2014

Couple arrested in separate cases

HOLLSOPPLE — A Hollsopple woman was charged Monday with stealing a neighbor’s $3,490 diamond ring, and her husband – who in 2009 was acquitted of murder – was jailed on drug charges.

Conemaugh Township police charged Ashley Nicole Emerick, 21, with burglary, theft and receiving stolen property. It is alleged she entered a Courtesy Lane re­sidence through an unlocked door on May 26 and stole about $50 and the ring, which was later recovered from a jewelry store.

She admitted taking the ring, police Detective Michael Popma said.

“We feel, like anything else, these burglaries and thefts are drug-related,” Pompa said. “They sell the items to feed their drug habit.”

Emerick was arraigned Monday by District Judge Susan Mankamyer of Boswell and freed on unsecured bond.

Township police and the Somerset County Drug Task Force arrested Bruce Michael Emerick, 25, on charges that he sold methadone tablets in Jerome on May 5.

“It’s alleged he was selling his prescription medication outside the Dollar General store,” Popma said.

Bruce Emerick faces drug-related charges and is being held in the Somerset County Jail.

In October 2009, a jury acquitted him of first-degree murder in the December 2007 shooting death of his then-fiancee, Jeanine Downing, 33. Authorities said Downing was shot as the two wrestled with a deer rifle during an argument.

The jury found him guilty of in­voluntary manslaughter, reckless en­dangerment, criminal mischief and simple assault. He was sentenced to serve nine to 23 months in the county jail followed by three years probation.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on twitter.com/PatBuch­nowskiTD.

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