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Alleged assailant in New Stanton robbery, assault in custody

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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 5:24 p.m.

A man who allegedly broke two beer bottles over another man's head during a robbery is in custody, state police said.

Malcolm Xavier Shepard, 23, address unknown, allegedly participated in the robbery of a 28-year-old West Newton man at the Howard Johnson motel in New Stanton in September, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Five assailants kicked, beat and stabbed the victim and took his wallet, which contained $2,700, police said.

The victim suffered cuts to his head and a cut to his back, police said, and the injuries required 17 staples.

During the investigation, police learned that one assailant had been called “Gunner” by another assailant. Police said the victim called and told them there was a photo of Gunner on the Facebook page of one assailant.

Police forwarded the photo to the Jeannette Police Department, who informed state police that the photo appeared to be Shepard. During an interview, two of the other alleged assailants confirmed Shepard was the one referred to as Gunner.

Shepard faces charges of robbery, conspiracy, aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment.

He was placed in Westmoreland County Prison and was unable to post bail Wednesday.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Nov. 6 before Scottdale District Judge Charles D. Moore.

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