New Castle-Detroit tie suspected in killing


NEW CASTLE, Pa. — A man with an Erie address but who has ties to Detroit has been charged in a Terrace Avenue shooting death.

Police accused Stephen M. Barry-Gibbonsok, 21, of West Seventh Street, with criminal homicide, conspiracy and carrying a firearm without a license in the Dec. 23 death of Arthur Cheeks Jr.

Barry-Gibbons also is charged with being a person not to possess a firearm. He previously was convicted of a weapons felony firearms violation in Michigan and is prohibited from having a gun.

Cheeks, 23, was shot in the head while sitting in a vehicle outside his Terrace Avenue home just before noon.

Police Chief Tom Sansone said an arrest warrant was issued for Barry-Gibbons, and police officers headed to Erie on Friday to bring him to New Castle for arraignment.

Barry-Gibbons was being detained by Erie police for New Castle, Sansone said.

Sansone said they are still investigating the shooting and more arrests could be coming.

Court papers stated that a witness told police that Barry-Gibbons and two other men were overheard talking about getting Cheeks over an ongoing drug dispute between New Castle and Detroit drug dealers.

The men talked about shooting Cheeks for a couple of weeks before Dec. 23, says an affidavit filed to support the charges.

The witness was with Barry-Gibbons the day of the shooting and told police they drove to Cheeks’ home Dec. 23 and circled the house twice. They did not stop because the victim was on the porch, court papers say.

They pulled into an alley and waited before driving around again and parking near the house. The affidavit says Barry-Gibbons got out of the witness’s vehicle, shot Cheeks and got back into the vehicle.

Barry-Gibbons later gave the witness the handgun and then left for Detroit, the affidavit says.

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