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Body In Barrel Suspect To Stand Trial

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(Photo Credit: Pennsylvania State Police)

(Photo Credit: Pennsylvania State Police)

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BLAIRSVILLE (KDKA) — A man accused of murdering a teenager then burning his body and dumping it in the Conemaugh River was in court for a preliminary hearing.

Police believe 32-year-old Jon Black killed 17-year-old Rodnell Burton over a drug debt. He is facing one count of criminal homicide.

Witnesses testified that they saw Black hit Burton in the head with a baseball bat two times inside, then two more times outside of an Indiana County mobile home.

Witnesses told a judge that Black then burned Burton’s body in a barrel and had other people dump the body in the Conemaugh River.

None of the other people who testified about the murder have been charged and one has been offered immunity. They were all acquainted through drug deals and drug usage.

Defense attorneys say the case will all come down to credibility.

They say the prosecution’s lead witness, Robert Watson, played a prominent role in the alleged murder and therefore his credibility should be questioned.

He and his girlfriend, Deirdra Endres, who also testified, are both currently incarcerated in connection with a string of gas stations robberies in Westmoreland County.

Black is the only one facing charges in connection with the murder. He is being held in the Indiana County Jail without bond. A judge held the homicide charge for court.

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