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Man released in Barto killing

September 15, 2017 News Extra

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Justin M. Johnson

A Butler County judge ordered one of four men charged in connection with the homicide of a 26-year-old woman released from jail in Butler County Court on Friday.

Justin M. Johnson, 19, of Butler, was ordered released from the Butler County Prison by Judge Timothy McCune, following a bond modification hearing.

Johnson had been held in the Butler County Prison since his arrest on June 21 on $100,000 bail, charged with felony hindering apprehension and misdemeanor false reports to law enforcement authorities in connection with the June 8 shooting death of Melissa Barto after the Pennsylvania State Police say he supplied an alibi on June 11 for the alleged shooter, Ishemer Ramsey, 21, of Lyndora.

That alibi later turned out to be false.

McCune's order stated that Johnson would be released to pretrial supervision pending an interview by the Adult Probation Office at the county prison and the execution of a supervision plan.

No timeline was set for when that interview or plan were to occur.

The Pretrial Supervision Program is intended to alleviate overcrowding in the Butler County Prison by allowing qualified defendants to remain free on bail pending resolution of charges, according to the county's website.

Conditions of the program include referral to appropriate services, such as drug and alcohol, mental health or batterers treatment; monitoring of defendant's compliance with treatment; and reporting as directed to the pretrial release office to ensure compliance.

A full report will be available in Sunday's Butler Eagle.

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