The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

June 24, 2014

Jarrett now suspect in Mich. murder

FARRELL — The former Farrell man accused of sexually assaulting an elderly Michigan woman also has been named a suspect in the murder of a younger woman who disappeared in April.

Shawn James Jarrett, 50, was arraigned Monday afternoon in a Michigan District Court on one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of first-degree home invasion that police said occurred Thursday at the 85-year-old woman’s Grandville home.

Jarrett pleaded guilty in March 1982 to murdering his neighbor, 64-year-old Mary Sposito of Farrell. Former Mercer County District Attorney James Epstein told 24 Hour News 8 in Grand Rapids, Mich., that Jarrett broke into the woman’s home, strangled her and raped her. Jarrett served his full 30-year sentence for third-degree murder, was released Dec. 31, 2012, then moved in with his parents in Ohio.

He was arrested again Saturday, accused of talking his way into the woman’s house and then assaulting and robbing her.

“This is a brutal crime, a very brutal crime,” Grandville Police Chief Dan Steere said Monday. “We had some residents in Grandville that came forward as witnesses and gave critical pieces of information. This was truly a community effort that ...  got him locked up.”

During his video arraignment Monday, Jarrett denied any involvement. “I had nothing to do with this,” he told the judge.

Jarrett was denied bond and is behind bars at the Kent County Jail.

Also Monday, police in Walker, Mich., said Jarrett has been upgraded to a suspect in the murder of Berta Yolanda Reyes, 42. Police previously considered him a person of interest in the case.

Reyes’ body was found in May at a construction site, less than a mile away from where she was last seen on April 24 at Neal Mast & Sons Greenhouse in Walker, where she worked.

After detectives reinterviewed Reyes’ co-workers and reviewed employment paperwork at the greenhouse, they discovered Jarrett also had been working at the greenhouse the day Reyes disappeared. He quit his job there the day she went missing, police said.

Investigators said Jarrett’s past criminal history also factored into their decision to raise Jarrett’s status to that of a suspect in the case.

Walker police said they have not yet brought any charges against Jarrett in the Reyes murder, and they do not have any physical evidence tying him to the case.

However, they said they will be working closely with the Grandville police forensic unit, according to a Walker police official.

Jarrett is expected back in court for a preliminary hearing in the Grandville case on July 3.


Text Only
Local News
  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014

  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014

  • One suspect in home shooting is jailed

    The first of three suspects police say were involved in an attempted robbery that ended in a shooting is in jail.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dancing kids K.I.D.S. day

    Hoping to reach children at just the right age, when they are old enough to understand but not past the point where it may be too late, Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission counselors held an “alternative activities” day at the courthouse Thursday, complete with music and dancing, hot dogs and treats, games and T-shirts.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo