MERCERSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A federal grand jury has said three people were tied up, shot and set on fire in a central Pennsylvania barn more than two years ago in an effort to silence a police informant.
An indictment unsealed Friday said eight men were involved in the June 2016 slaying of Wendy Chaney, Brandon Cole and Phillip Jackson.
In all, 11 people are charged in the indictment. All 11 are behind bars.
The Dec. 20 indictment said two of the defendants, Kevin Coles and Devin Dickerson, were being investigated by the DEA and police in June 2016. They began to suspect Chaney, who faced pending criminal charges, was helping law enforcement with that probe.
Lawyers for all the defendants either declined comment or did not return messages Monday.
One of the defendants was in a romantic relationship with Chaney at the time and persuaded her to go to Jackson’s farm near Mercersburg, according to the indictment. There, the victims’ hands were bound with plastic ties, and they were shot in the head or back before being set on fire, the grand jury alleged.
Chaney and Cole were dead when police arrived, and Jackson later died at a hospital.
Five of the defendants are also charged with plotting to kill one of the other defendants, whom they believed had begun cooperating with investigators looking into the triple homicide, the indictment said. All five are alleged to be members of the Black Guerrilla Family, described as a national criminal gang.
The five “located and restrained” the other defendant in Baltimore on about May 9, 2017, but he escaped, the indictment said. Federal prosecutors declined to elaborate.
Police said they planned to discuss the case in greater detail after the federal government shutdown is over.
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