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Hearing continued for Connellsville mayoral candidate

| Friday, May 10, 2013, 11:15 a.m.

The Connellsville mayoral candidate accused of allegedly running a chop shop had his preliminary hearing on Thursday continued until next week.

Joshua DeWitt, 27, of Connellsville was charged with owning / operating / conducting a chop shop; receiving stolen property; and conspiracy of owning / operating / conducting a chop shop and receiving stolen property. The charges were filed at 1:45 p.m. Monday before District Judge Ronald Haggerty Jr.

Information from the magisterial docket sheet reported the incident occurred on March 3, 2011, in Bullskin Township.

DeWitt initially was charged last year with owning / operating / conducting a chop shop along with his uncle, Rodney Francis Allen of Connellsville, and Dale Robert Naugle of Connellsville. The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Western Regional Auto Theft Task Force investigated the theft of a Ford F-150 pickup from Davies Ford.

The three men were accused of stripping the truck down for parts, which were recovered at Allen's garage in Bullskin Township.

The charges last year against DeWitt were dismissed. Allen and Naugle are awaiting trial in Fayette County Court of Common Pleas.

DeWitt is running a campaign against incumbent Connellsville Mayor Charles Matthews and candidate Gregory Lincoln on the Democratic ticket for the May 21 primary election.

He is free on $20,000 unsecured bond.

His new preliminary hearing date has been scheduled for 10:15 a.m. May 16 before Haggerty.

Mark Hofmann is a reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at mhofmann@tribweb.com or 724-626-3539.

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