Preliminary hearing in Geistown homicide case postponed

Patrick Buchnowski, The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.
·2 min read

Apr. 14—The man charged with killing a woman inside his Geistown Borough apartment last week had his hearing postponed on Wednesday to give his attorneys time to prepare and to have the proceeding moved to Ebensburg.

Joshua Gorgone, 26, is charged in the April 6 stabbing death of Denise Williams, 54, of Hornerstown.

A preliminary hearing for Gorgone was scheduled before District Judge Susan Gindlesperger, of Stonycreek Township.

Public defenders Kevin Sanders and Michael Salvester requested a continuance.

"We haven't had the opportunity to speak with him at length," Sanders said.

A new hearing date has not been scheduled.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Gribler requested the hearing be moved to allow the victim's family to view the proceeding. About 10 of Williams' family members waited in the parking lot.

"The rule right now is no one is allowed in the magistrate's courtroom unless you're testifying," Gribler said.

"We would want the family to be in the courtroom," he said. "We're going to make a request to the common pleas court to use one of their courtrooms to have Judge Gindlesperger hear the case in Ebensburg."

According to a criminal complaint, Williams visited Gorgone's apartment in the 900 block of Old Scalp Avenue to buy a refrigerator that was advertised online.

Her family had reported her missing and police used a phone app to find her cellphone, and with the help of Onstar, traced her Chevrolet Trax to Hoyt Street in Richland Township.

Police from Geistown, Johnstown and Richland determined that Williams was to meet Gorgone after an ad was placed on Facebook Marketplace.

When police entered Apartment 206, Gorgone was gone and Williams' body was found in the bathroom. Police later apprehended Gorgone at Richland Town Center.

Gorgone reportedly told police they he and Williams argued over the price of the refrigerator and that he stabbed her multiple times with a kitchen knife, the complaint said.

Williams was the mother of two and was employed in the Conemaugh Heath System, where she had worked as a nursing assistant for 16 years.

Gorgone, listed on documents as a St. Michael resident, had lived in the Geistown apartment for about six months and told his landlord that he worked at Giant Eagle.

The Cambria County Detectives Bureau charged him with criminal homicide and aggravated assault.

Gorgone is being held without bond in Cambria County Prison in Ebensburg.