Murder suspect held for trial


A man charged in the New Year’s Day death of a Frank­ford res­id­ent has been held for tri­al on murder, con­spir­acy, weapons, as­sault and re­lated of­fenses.

Chris­toph­er John­son, 30, was ar­res­ted Feb. 7 and charged in the fatal shoot­ing of 47-year-old Ger­ard “Ir­ish” Mark­ert.  John­son’s pre­lim­in­ary was con­duc­ted May 9. He re­mains in cus­tody and will be ar­raigned May 30.

Mark­ert was shot sev­er­al times in the back and neck at about 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 1 on the 4100 block of Orch­ard St., po­lice said. He died while be­ing taken to Temple Uni­versity Hos­pit­al.

Mark­ert’s death is con­nec­ted to an auto ac­ci­dent that had oc­curred at Wom­rath Street and Frank­ford Av­en­ue shortly be­fore the shoot­ing, po­lice said. In the morn­ing Mark­ert died, a second cous­in was in­volved in a traffic ac­ci­dent, said the vic­tim’s sis­ter, Eileen Horn. She said she learned that the oc­cu­pants of the oth­er car told the re­l­at­ive they wanted $1,000 when the cous­in tried to ex­change in­form­a­tion after the ac­ci­dent.

She said the re­l­at­ive drove away, but the two oth­er men fol­lowed him to the 4100 block of Orch­ard St. and tried to pull him out of his car. Mark­ert, who lived on that block, saw that and raced to his re­l­at­ive’s aid. Horn said punches were thrown, but the fight broke up.

She said the oth­er men drove around the neigh­bor­hood and then spot­ted Mark­ert on an­oth­er re­l­at­ive’s front step. One of them ran up to him, shot him three times with a .40-caliber hand­gun and then shot him again after he fell, she said.

Po­lice are look­ing for the second man.  ••


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