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Pa. Counselor Killed; 2 Teens Arrested

November 11, 2003

GROVE CITY, Pa. (AP) _ Two teenagers killed their counselor at a juvenile detention center Monday and escaped in his pickup, but turned themselves in at a high school hours later, authorities said.

Wayne Lamont Urey Jr., 43, was strangled in one of the boy’s bedrooms shortly after midnight at George Junior Republic, a private residential school and treatment center about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh, authorities said.

At about the same time, Anthony Machicote, 17, and Jeremy Melvin, 16, escaped in Urey’s truck, police said. They approached a security guard at a Pittsburgh high school Monday afternoon and surrendered.

Prosecutors filed charges of criminal homicide, robbery, theft, aggravated assault, escape and criminal conspiracy against Machicote and Melvin. They were arraigned Monday night and held without bond pending a hearing Nov. 19.

In court documents, authorities said the teens tied Urey’s hands with bed sheets, tied his legs with a belt and fastened a sheet around his head and neck.

Other boys told police the teens had planned to escape and one said that on Sunday, he heard Melvin say ``tonight’s the night″ and saw him shadow boxing, according to the documents.

Urey oversaw the cottage at night to make sure the residents didn’t leave without permission.

George Junior Republic was founded in 1909 as a home for wayward boys. About 480 students attend the 450-acre campus, which is not walled or fenced, said the center’s executive director, Rick Losasso.

Losasso would not specify why Machicote and Melvin were at the center except to say they were sent there from Allegheny County Juvenile Court. He said their families had been called and urged to tell them to surrender.

The Associated Press could not immediately locate home telephone numbers for their families.

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