Lawrence County District Attorney's detectives have arrested a woman they say bought a gun for Jordan Perretti three days after the Feb. 6 shooting death of Jason Miles, and four days after the armed robbery of a pharmacy.
Candace Marie Daugherty, 34, formerly of Westview Terrace, was charged Friday with firearms ownership, duties of other persons, and conspiracy to commit that offense, both felonies, and unsworn falsification to authorities. Investigators say she made a straw purchase — meaning the gun was knowingly bought illegally for someone else, namely Perretti. She was arrested Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators say Daugherty is Perretti's former girlfriend and the mother of his children, according to a criminal complaint.
A more recent girlfriend of Perretti's told police that she was with him the night Miles died, and that he disposed of a gun he had with him that night, according to New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem.
Perretti, 37, of 840 Lathrop St., is in jail without bond as a suspect in the Feb. 6 shooting death of Miles in an alley behind Marshall Street, and as suspect in the Feb. 5 robbery of the CVS pharmacy on East Washington Street, when several hundred Xanax pills were stolen.
Police during their investigation found a gun inside of a backpack in Perretti's car, which turned out to be the gun that Daugherty bought for him after both incidents, according to a criminal complaint filed against Daugherty. The papers state that she bought him a 9-millimeter gun Feb. 9 from Nesbit Guns at 3536 Ellwood Road, Shenango Township and that Perretti was with her during the purchase.
Police stopped Perretti's vehicle Feb. 11 and seized the backpack that contained a gun, and Daugherty was listed as the registered owner of it, the report said. They also confiscated a bag containing a quantity of Xanax pills of various dosages that had been reported stolen during the CVS robbery, the court papers say. Perretti was arrested and charged that day with the robbery, the court paperwork states. They filed homicide charges against him on Feb. 16.
Perretti, during questioning about the robbery, told police the gun and narcotics in the car were his, police reported in the court papers.
Salem said the gun in the backpack was not the gun used in the homicide. Daugherty wrote in the Feb. 9 application for the gun that she was the buyer of it and was not acquiring it for another person, the criminal complaint states. Salem said the gun Daugherty had purchased for him after those incidents is not the murder weapon.
The gun shop store owner picked Perretti out of a photo array as having been with Daugherty when she bought the gun. He told authorities that Perretti had been in the store several times before Feb. 9, looking at firearms, according to the complaint.
Perretti had pleaded guilty to felony drug charges in July 2017 and was not allowed to own or have a gun.
A different girlfriend of Perretti, who told city police in an interview that she was with him the night of the Miles homicide, informed them Perretti disposed of a gun he had that night, Salem said.
New Castle police were called the evening of Feb. 6 to the area of Marshall Avenue, where they found Miles, 39, lying dead in an alley, having been shot several times in the face.
New Castle police and county detectives pieced together most of the evidence in little more than a week that led to Perretti's arrest.
Perretti’s current girlfriend provided police with information that led to charges against him, of criminal homicide and prohibited possession of a gun, according to a criminal complaint filed in the courts.
That is when she told them that he had gotten rid of the gun, Salem said.
An autopsy performed on Miles confirmed his cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds to the head, Lawrence County Coroner Rich "R.J." Johnson had reported.