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Arrest made in slaying of Allentown mother

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By Michael Hasch
Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 11:34 p.m.

Six children, the youngest only a year old, are without a mother because of a late-night argument inside a Beltz-hoover tavern.

Authorities on Wednesday arrested Dorian Peebles, 22, of Homewood on a homicide charge in the slaying of Tiona Jackson, 28, of Allentown, who was gunned down about 1:30 a.m. Feb. 28 as she and a companion were walking to their vehicle parked near Warrington Playground.

Jackson, who died almost immediately of gunshot wounds in the head, trunk and extremities, was the mother of two boys and four girls ranging in age from 1 to 13, friends and neighbors said.

Her companion, Nigel Pryor, 32, of Penn Hills, was shot several times but survived.

City homicide detectives are still looking for a second gunman.

“I'm happy an arrest has been made ... but there can never be full justice because these children will always be without their mother,” said Adrienne Young, founder of Tree of Hope ministry, who organized a vigil for Jackson after the shooting.

“The kids miss their mother. Her sister is raising five of them, taking care of them all by herself with nothing. The father has one of the children,” Young said.

According to a criminal complaint:

Jackson and Pryor were inside a tavern on Warrington Avenue when they began arguing with Peebles and three other men.

Surveillance video shows Jackson and Pryor leaving the tavern with the men behind them. They went in separate directions, but the video then shows a vehicle driving up Warrington toward where Jackson and Pryor were parked.

Witnesses said Peebles and another man, James Lawrence, 21, of Homewood got out of the vehicle and began shooting at Jackson and Pryor. They they got back into their vehicle, which may have been driven by another man involved in the argument, and sped away.

Members of the U.S. Marshals Western Pennsylvania Fugitive Task Force arrested Peebles without incident at a home in Sheraden.

A warrant has been issued for Lawrence's arrest, charging him with criminal homicide, court documents show. There is no indication that charges have been filed against the other two men involved in the argument.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or at

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