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

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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.

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