Share This Page

Glen Campbell men suspected of arranging drug deal, shooting victim along Clymer trail

| Thursday, June 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Two Glen Campbell men were tired of James Alexander “ripping them off,” so they planned a drug deal Monday that ended Alexander's life, according to court documents filed by state police.

Gregory Sam Patterson, 33, and Christopher William Salsgiver, 22, met up with Alexander and another man at about 9 p.m. along a walking trail in Clymer, where heroin allegedly was exchanged.

Patterson told police that Salsgiver fired the fatal shot into the head of 46-year-old Alexander, though Salsgiver told police “no one was dead” when he left the trail.

Patterson and Salsgiver are being held without bail in the Indiana County Jail awaiting preliminary hearings scheduled for Tuesday.

State police filed homicide and related charges against the two men on Tuesday.

Alexander had visited the Clymer home of his friend Denise Clark at about 7:30 p.m. on Monday to pick up some personal items, the woman said Tuesday afternoon. Clark said she had dated one of Alexander's brothers for 13 years and considered the victim family.

With Alexander at the Clymer home was Jeffrey Swigart, a man Alexander described to Clark as a “good friend.”

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Swigart received a text message while the men were at Clark's home.

Police said the text was from Patterson, who wanted heroin. He and Swigart made plans to meet on the secluded, paved walking trail that runs along Two Lick Creek.

On the trail, Alexander gave Swigart three bundles of heroin and one of the bundles was passed to Patterson, police said. After a scuffle between Swigart and Patterson, Salsgiver — who was with Patterson — allegedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at Alexander.

According to the affidavit, Swigart ran toward Route 403 and heard Salsgiver say, “Get on the ground,” before a gunshot rang out.

Clark said on Tuesday that Alexander was “trying to straighten his life around” and recently had gotten a job. After receiving a phone call that Alexander — nicknamed “Pork” — had been shot, Clark raced to the scene, but it was too late.

“I think he was set up,” Clark said on Tuesday.

Alexander was pronounced dead by an Indiana County deputy coroner at 10:25 p.m. His last known address was in Ernest, Indiana County, but he had been staying with a friend in the borough.

Both suspects are charged with criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide and two counts each of aggravated assault, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, simple assault and harassment.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.