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Bellwood man among three arrested in murder case

State police have announced three arrests in the murder of a 22-year-old Altoona man whose body was left to burn in Reade Township, Cambria County last month.
Among those arrested were a Bellwood man, 28-year-old John E. Mease of West 10th Street and a man with ties to the Tyrone area, 25-year-old Torone Dixon. Police also arrested Damien Marcus Pierce of Altoona.
Authorities said James Tucker was allegedly shot three times before his body was set ablaze and he was left to die on Fire Tower Road in the Blandburg area on the night of April 27.
A release from Ebensburg state police listed a Philadelphia address for Tucker, but according to court documents, at the time of his death, he had been an Altoona resident and allegedly was picked up by Christina DeStefano there earlier on the night he died.
Court documents show that police sought the whereabouts of DeStefano after getting the information about her driving Tucker from Altoona. Authorities were unable to locate her, but did receive information that she and Dixon may have spent time at a trailer in Grazierville in the days following the murder. DeStefano was due to move into the trailer with Dixon on May 1.
The day before, police learned DeStefano placed two calls to her grandmother. In the second call, DeStefano’s grandmother heard a man’s voice and asked her if she was being held against her will. DeStefano said “yes’ and the phone went dead, according to court documents. Police received permission to enter the trailer in Grazierville and found no one inside. They did obtain search warrants to collect evidence and located a vehicle they believed Dixon had used. Evidence was also obtained from the vehicle. Last week, Hollidaysburg police listed DeStefano as a missing person. This morning, a state police dispatcher confirmed she was later located in the Philadelphia area.
Dixon was listed as having a Harrisburg address in a release from the Ebensburg State Police. They said he had been charged with first and second-degree criminal homicide, aggravated criminal assault, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Mease was charged with conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, aggravated assault, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Pierce was charged with conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, aggravated assault, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Dixon was arraigned before Cambria County Magisterial District Judge Fred Creany on Monday night after he had been transported back from the Philadelphia area. He was lodged in the Cambria County Prison without bail according to Judge Creany.
Mease and Pierce were also lodged at Cambria County Prison according to an official there. The Daily Herald was unable to obtain information on their bail or bond status by press time this morning.