Murder suspect’s case transferred

December 20, 2018

A preliminary hearing scheduled Wednesday for a murder suspect has been canceled and sent to Windber.

The hearing for Samson Washington, 26, Columbus, Ohio, was scheduled for 1 p.m. before District Judge Susan Mankamyer in Boswell, but the case was sent to fellow magistrate Bill Seger on Monday, an online court document shows.

Another online court document indicated Wednesday that a hearing before Seger had yet to be scheduled.

Washington is one of three men accused of being connected to the deaths of James Smith and Damian Staniszewski in March of 2017. The two men were allegedly tortured in Johnstown and then killed in in a wooded area along Ligonier Pike in Conemaugh Township. Their remains were found the following September.

Washington along with David Wyrick, 24, Columbus, Ohio, have been charged with criminal homicide in the case. Joshua Bergmann, 39, Cresson, has been charged with related offenses.

An online court document shows that Bergmann was arraigned Tuesday before Seger and is being held in the Cambria County Prison on a $250,000 bond. Washington is in the Somerset County Jail with his bail denied and Wyrick is being held in Ohio awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.

Bergmann has a preliminary hearing scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday before Seger.

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