Arrests made in Colonie barber shop murder

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police announced Tuesday the arrest of two males in connection with the August murder of stylist Jackie Porreca.

Shawn Moreland, 32, and Michael Chmielewski, 23, have been charged with Murder and Robbery.

Chmielewski is also charged with a second count of murder.

Police said the suspects admitted they’re both heroin addicts who simply needed money for drugs. Both suspects were ordered to Albany County Jail without bail.

Porreca was stabbed in the neck during a robbery on August 21. She was working alone at the time of the robbery and suffered two stab wounds to her neck.

Neighbor Kimberly Locke-Wilder told NEWS10 ABC in August that police questioned her because she lived nearby, but she said she didn’t see or hear anything.

“I really didn’t witness anything, and there was a few people in and out when I was sitting out here, but it’s a salon so you expect that,” she said. “I’m praying for the best. It’s just terrible. I’m just really, really unsettled and freaking out.

NEWS ABC spoke exclusively with Porreca’s sister shortly after the murder, who said that her hope every day was to have the person responsible caught.

On Monday, NEWS10 spoke with Porreca’s aunt, Frances Drabick, who gave a desperate plea to anyone with information.

“Have a heart,” she said. “You were born with a heart. I ask that they use it.”

Police spent days following the robbery canvassing the neighborhood and released a sketch of a man spotted in the area at the time of the crime. During a press conference on Tuesday, Colonie Police Lt. Bob Winn said police believe Chmielewski is the person in the sketch. He said Moreland’s name came up through the heroin community.

52 Sandcreek Rd Witness Sketch 001

Moreland was arrested on unrelated charges that brought up his involvement, police said. Lt. Winn said both men were involved in other crimes to feed their drug habit, and Moreland has been charged with Burglary in an unrelated case.

According to Lt. Winn, Moreland has a criminal past, but Chmielewski has never been arrested as an adult.

Lt. Winn said the suspects were talking about the crime often enough that a tip came in about the two men. Chmielewski and Moreland were then under surveillance by police and arrested separately without incident.

Police do not believe Chmielewski or Moreland knew Porreca before the robbery. Police said Chmielewski was from the neighborhood and familiar with the salon. He allegedly entered the salon with a knife, and the two men drove to the salon in Moreland’s car.

Between $500 and $800 was taken during the robbery. It has not been recovered.

Police have surveillance camera footage, cell phones and plate readers to use in their case.

Chmielewski and Moreland are believed to be the only two involved.

Hours after the arrests, three to four divers with the New York State Police were preparing to search the lake in Washington Park in Albany at the request of Colonie police in search of the murder weapon.

 

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