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Murder suspect’s hearing delayed

The preliminary hearing for a man accused of murder was postponed into late December, Blair County court documents stated.

Vasilios Pentsas Jr., 34, of Altoona, is accused of killing Andrew Ozio, 29, of Hollidaysburg, who died

Nov. 9. Police found Ozio in an alley on the 100 block of East Crawford Avenue.

He was lying in a pool of blood with three gunshot wounds — one each in his neck, chest and head, Altoona police reported.

Pentsas was arrested shortly after police found Ozio’s body. He is facing eight felonies including first- and third-degree murder, aggravated assault and gun counts, as well as five misdemeanors. He is being held without bail in the Blair County Prison.

Police believe the killing might have been the result of a drug deal gone bad, police said.

A lead pipe and three .40-caliber casings were found near Ozio’s body.

After his arrest, Pentsas told police he thought he might get arrested because he was arguing with Ozio throughout the day, then drove by the crime scene later and saw all the police, court documents stated.

Pentsas allegedly told police that the two were arguing because Pentsas agreed to purchase marijuana from Ozio for about $440, but after receiving the drugs, Pentsas changed his mind and wanted to return the marijuana, police said.

At some point during the day, one of Pentsas’ friends was assaulted with a lead pipe, which Pentsas said he believed was done by Ozio because of the debt, a criminal complaint said.

After questioning, Pentsas allegedly led police to the .40-caliber handgun with an obliterated serial number, court documents state.

Dubbed a continuance, the postponement of Pentsas Jr.’s preliminary hearing is not uncommon in Pennsylvanian courts, Magisterial District Court Judge Daniel DeAntonio said.

His hearing is now scheduled for Dec. 30 in front of DeAntonio.

Mirror Staff Writer Ike

Fredregill is at 814-946-7458.

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