Philadelphia police have made arrests in connection with two unrelated murder cases last month, including the double slaying of a Holmesburg woman and her house guest.
James Mears, 25, of the 4700 block of Vista St., has been charged with the execution-style shooting deaths of Dollie Evans, 67, and Ruby Thomas, 57, on Aug. 23 inside Evans’ home on the same block, according to police, who arrested Mears three days after the killings. His alleged motive was robbery.
Witnesses heard gunshots at Evans’ home at about 5:32 p.m. and called 911. Police found the front door ajar, Evans’ body on the living room couch and Thomas on the floor of a front upstairs bedroom. Both had been shot once in the head. There were no signs of forced entry. Police did not disclose what personal relationship Mears may have had with the victims. Nor did police disclose what led them to suspect Mears as the killer.
Authorities reportedly arrested another man on Aug. 30 for the murder of Mayfair resident Paul McKernan, 27. Police confirmed the arrest, but did not release the identity of the alleged killer. McKernan was shot at about 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 during an argument outside a Chinese restaurant on the 1600 block of N. 55th St., according to police and published reports.
McKernan, of the 3200 block of Magee Ave., suffered a wound of the neck and died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania about a half-hour after the shooting. ••