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3 Arrested In Connection With ’03 Cold Case

By: Trina Orlando
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State police and the Washington County District Attorney held a news conference to discuss the arrests in the cold case. (Photo Crdit: Trina Orlando/KDKA)

State police and the Washington County District Attorney held a news conference to discuss the arrests in the cold case. (Photo Crdit: Trina Orlando/KDKA)

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CALIFORNIA, Pa. (KDKA) – Three people have been arrested and are now facing charges in connection with a 2003 homicide in Washington County.

John Newman was found dead from a gunshot to the left side of his head on Feb. 4, 2003.

According to investigators, 39-year-old Howard Irwin, 34-year-old Michael Duncan and 54-year-old John Bronson Jr. are facing charges of criminal homicide of the first degree and criminal conspiracy to commit homicide in Newman’s death.

A Washington County Grand Jury investigation revealed that the murder was a direct result of alleged drug activity by Newman.

In the months before his death, officials say Newman was arrested for selling Oxycontin pills to an undercover officer.

Investigators say Newman agreed to lead police to other drug dealers, specifically Bronson.

Bronson was arrested and is facing federal charges. Officials say that he was aware that Newman was the key witness against him. Newman also owed Bronson a drug debt.

Police say they believe Bronson conspired with Duncan and Irwin in Newman’s death.

Duncan is believed to have pulled the trigger from the back seat of the car.

Bronson is currently incarcerated in a federal prison in Lewisburg, Pa. Duncan was arrested near Cleveland and faces an extradition hearing this afternoon. Irwin arrested in Charleroi.

Stay with KDKA for the latest developments.

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