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Man Acquitted In Cookout Shooting Faces Firearms Indictment

Sarah Kovash
90.5 WESA
The backyard of the Wilkinsburg home where five adults, including a pregnant woman, were killed.

Federal authorities say a man acquitted less than two weeks ago in the slayings of five people and an unborn baby at a western Pennsylvania cookout four years ago has been indicted on a firearms charge.

The U.S. attorney's office said Tuesday that 33-year-old Cheron Shelton is accused of having possessed a rifle and ammunition in March 2016 although a felony conviction barred him from owning a firearm.

Shelton was acquitted Feb. 14 of first- and third-degree murder and other charges in the March 2016 shootings in Wilkinsburg. Charges were dismissed earlier against Shelton's co-defendant, 31-year-old Robert Thomas. Authorities had alleged that he opened fire and Shelton then gunned down victims running onto a porch. Authorities alleged they were targeting someone Shelton believed was involved in the 2013 murder of a friend.

A call seeking comment was made to Shelton's defense attorney in the state case.