Man sought in Brackenridge murder arrested in West Virginia

Justin Bartlett

A man wanted for questioning in the murder of a Brackenridge woman was arrested Monday afternoon by police in West Virginia.

Fairmont City police arrested Justin Bartlett, 25, near a GoMart there about 1:15 p.m., according to Detective Sgt. Brian L. Stewart.

Stewart said police received a tip from a business on Fairmont Avenue that someone matching Bartlett’s description was inside. When police arrived, Bartlett walked away and jumped off a wall into an alley, where detectives were waiting. He was arrested without incident, Stewart said.

Bartlett was being sought by authorities in the murder investigation of Linda McGinnis, 63, of Ninth Avenue in Brackenridge. She was found stabbed to death in her home on Saturday, a day after her family reported her missing.

Bartlett faces one count of being a fugitive from justice from the Fairmont City Police Department. He will be held in West Virginia pending extradition to Pennsylvania.

According to Stewart, authorities from Allegheny County were questioning Bartlett in West Virginia on Monday afternoon.

According to WDTV in Fairmont, Bartlett had been spotted Saturday afternoon outside a grocery store in Mannington, W.Va., near Fairmont. Officials there believe he spent the night in an empty church in Fairmont.

Police in Mannington seized a car with a Pennsylvania license plate Bartlett was believed to have been driving. Allegheny County police say the car found in West Virginia belongs to McGinnis. McGinnis and Bartlett were next-door neighbors, police said.

Bartlett was wanted in an unrelated case from last year.

Brackenridge police Chief Jamie Bock said a warrant was filed for Bartlett’s arrest in November after Bartlett allegedly trapped a woman in his apartment Nov. 26 and said he would hurt her if she tried to leave. Bock said the woman managed to escape and filed a complaint with Brackenridge police the following day.

A warrant was issued against Bartlett on charges of terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, simple assault, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment Nov. 28, Bock said.

Police said Bartlett met that woman via the internet and the case has no connection to McGinnis’ murder.

In 2013, court records show, Bartlett was arrested for breaking into a Brackenridge man’s home and setting the man’s cat on fire. Bartlett was sentenced to up to two years in jail for that incident in 2014.

In a separate 2013 case, court records show that Bartlett was sentenced to two years of probation on an aggravated assault charge.

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