Preliminary hearing waived in New Year’s Day shooting case

A North Warren man charged in connection with a New Year’s Day shooting death in North Warren has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Zachary Wells, 20, was charged by Conewango Township Police back in late March with two counts of receiving stolen property and a count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Conewango Township police were dispatched shortly after midnight on Jan. 1 to 11 Vine St. for a report of a shooting at that address.

A woman answered the door and allegedly told police that a 17-year-old male “had shot himself in an upstair(s) bedroom,” per the affidavit of probable cause.

Police detail that they went upstairs and observed Wells “exiting his bedroom, yelling repeatedly ‘No, don’t come up.'”

The affidavit states that Wells was detained before police observed the juvenile, who was “laying on (Wells) bed covered in blood.”

Officers observed blood on the bed and a handgun under the juvenile’s right arm.

“It was later learned,” the affidavit states, “that (the juvenile) died from a single gunshot wound to the head.”

Wells told police that he, the juvenile and a third individual were in the bedroom and were “(expletive) around” with the handguns that the juvenile allegedly brought to the residence on numerous occasions.

“These handguns,” police allege, “were known by (the juvenile and Wells) to be stolen.”

Two 9 mm handguns and what police call an “AR-15 style rifle” were found at the residence. Three cell phones were seized which revealed “multiple videos and pictures showing the handguns in the possession of (Wells) while in his own bedroom on Vine St.”

Police say that further investigation determined that the handguns were both stolen – one from a camp in Marienville and the other from a vehicle parked in North Warren last October.

“Autopsy/forensics revealed that the incapacitating gunshot that caused the death of (the juvenile) was fired from the handgun found in the closet, not the one under the juvenile’s arm.

Online court records show that Wells’ next court appearance is set for June 13 and he remains behind bars on $100,000 bail.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today