2 more charged in North Beaver Township murder

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WYTV) – Two more people have been charged in connection to the shooting death of a New Castle man on May 1 whose body was found near Mohawk High School in Bessemer.

Ricardo Aponte Jr., 32, and Dawn Marie Wallace, 33, both of New Castle, were charged Thursday, according to Pennsylvania State Police. On May 13, police charged Melissa Sue Aponte, 33, and Ryan Christopher Avery, 24, both of New Castle, in connection with the murder of Frederick D. Swillings, 24, also of New Castle.

His body was found on Hoffmaster Road in North Beaver Township near Mohawk High School. Investigators said he had been shot several times.

Police said all four suspects have been extradited from Alabama, where they fled after the murder. They are all being held at the Lawrence County Jail.

Ricardo Aponte is charged with homicide, criminal conspiracy to commit homicide, robbery and aggravated assault. Wallace is charged with criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy to commit homicide and criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, police said.

Avery previously was charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, robbery and criminal conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Melissa Aponte previously was charged with kidnapping, criminal conspiracy to commit homicide, criminal conspiracy to commit robbery and criminal conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. Police said she now also faces a charge of criminal homicide.

Police said Swillings was seen getting into a car matching the description of one owned by Avery’s parents about 45 minutes before his body was found. Avery claimed he loaned the vehicle to a woman he did not know well, but police later learned he loaned the car to his girlfriend, Melissa Aponte.

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