A key witness tearfully testified Wednesday his brother had admitted responsibility for shooting a teenager in Gaston Park.

All charges against James Nixon, 18, of Apartment 1C, 1023 Rebecca St., were held for court. Nixon faces charges of criminal homicide, two counts of aggravated assault, robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, possessing instruments of crime and making false reports to police to incriminate another. He remains in the Lawrence County jail where he is being held without bond.

Those charges stem from the shooting death of Marcus McCauley, 16, of 367 Halco Drive. His body was found in Gaston Park June 23 by a man walking his dog.

McCauley had been shot in the back of the head from close range about 4 a.m. that day.

Thomas Minett, assistant district attorney, presented three witnesses at Nixon’s preliminary hearing Wednesday.

At one point, the key witness, Nixon’s brother Joshua Davis of Sharon, buried his face in his hands and cried.

“I told him to tell me the truth,” Davis said, testifying Wednesday on his 21st birthday.

District Judge Scott McGrath called a 10-minute break to allow Davis to compose himself.

Speaking softly, Davis said Nixon called him June 23 and asked for a ride.

On the drive to an aunt’s house in Sharon, Davis said, Nixon told him McCauley had been shot “by Detroit people” in retaliation for a robbery.

Davis testified Nixon had told him he was being blamed because he was the last one to see McCauley alive.

Later, Davis said, Nixon called him into the bathroom saying he wanted to talk.

“I said tell the truth,” Davis said. Nixon admitted he had shot McCauley and had established an alibi for himself — another brother, Christopher Nixon.

Davis testified Nixon told him he and McCauley had been at Gaston Park and shot McCauley in the head.

He said his brother had told him McCauley previously had flashed a wad of money. He testified Nixon told him he had left $230 on the body and a sprinkling of marijuana around it “so it would look like a robbery.”

Davis said Nixon told him he had about $5,000. After the shooting, Davis said, Nixon went to Christopher Nixon’s house, changed into Christopher’s clothes and gave Christopher $1,900.

Nixon is being defended by Dennis Elisco and Larry Keith of the public defender’s office.

Questioned by Elisco, Davis said James Nixon had threatened he would shoot Christopher Nixon if the $1,900 was not returned and threatened to shoot their mother.

He said he never saw James Nixon with a gun.

Also testifying was Sgt. Kevin Seelbaugh of the New Castle police department.

He said the weapon used in the shooting has not yet been found.

Seelbaugh also said Nixon initially had told him he and his brother, Christopher, had planned to rob McCauley and it was Christopher Nixon who stood behind the victim and pulled the trigger.

This led police to charge Christopher Nixon with homicide and James Nixon with conspiracy to commit homicide, robbery and theft.

Charges have since been withdrawn against Christopher Nixon.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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