Last of 5 suspects charged in twin killings, other crimes in Erie from 2018 waives cases

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Five Erie men charged in a 2018 crime spree that city police said included two killings and a violent home-invasion robbery are now facing trial after the last of the suspects waived his criminal cases to court.

Nicholas Grayson, who was 30 when he was charged by Erie police in October, recently waived his preliminary hearing on the criminal charges he faces, said his lawyer, Anthony Logue. The waiver was made prior to Grayson's scheduled preliminary hearing on Thursday morning.

Grayson is facing charges including conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary related to one of the homicides and charges including robbery and burglary in the home-invasion robbery, according to Erie police and information presented at an April court hearing.

The criminal cases against Grayson and the other four suspects in the crime spree — Chinello Blaski, Christopher J. Bridges, Raeshawn McCallum and Destin Dortch — remain sealed. The only details released in the investigation so far were revealed by Erie police when they charged the five in October and November, and through the testimony of Grayson and Blaski during the preliminary hearing for the other three suspects on April 6.

Blaski waived his criminal case to court. Bridges, McCallum and Dortch were held for court following the hearing.

Testimony sheds light on Erie killingsTwo men fatally shot in their Erie homes in 2018 were targeted by a group of people looking to score drugs and money

The crimes

Erie police accuse members of the group of being involved in the fatal shooting of Calvin Isaiah, 24, on Aug. 29, 2018; the fatal shooting of Phillip Clark, 44, on Sept. 4, 2018; a home-invasion robbery in which two people were tied up and an attempt was made to set fire to the house on Sept. 3, 2018; and a shooting and robbery that wounded a man on June 18, 2018.

A crowd of about 100 people gather for the Take Back the Site vigil on Oct. 30, 2018, for homicide victim Calvin Isaiah outside a residence at 1061 E. 26th St. Isaiah, 24, was found dead inside his apartment at that residence on the afternoon of Aug. 30. The vigil was organized by the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, the sisters of St. Joseph and the Sisters of Mercy.
A crowd of about 100 people gather for the Take Back the Site vigil on Oct. 30, 2018, for homicide victim Calvin Isaiah outside a residence at 1061 E. 26th St. Isaiah, 24, was found dead inside his apartment at that residence on the afternoon of Aug. 30. The vigil was organized by the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, the sisters of St. Joseph and the Sisters of Mercy.

Blaski testified at the April 6 hearing that members of the group would hang out in his apartment in 2018, smoking "weed" and talking about doing "stings," or robberies. He said they talked about robbing people who they knew were getting money by selling drugs, and they rode around and pointed out houses of people suspected of selling drugs and getting money.

Group charged in Erie killings in 2018The city of Erie was rocked in the late summer and early fall of 2018 by a spate of violent crime that included

Blaski testified that on the day before Isaiah was killed, some members of the group broke into Isaiah's East 26th Street apartment and stole items including a rifle and some clothing. He said Dortch went back to Isaiah's apartment, broke in again and shot Isaiah and robbed him when Isaiah reportedly pulled a gun on Dortch.

Dortch was charged with homicide in the killing.

Coroner IDs victim of Erie shootingThe Erie County Coroner's Office has ruled the death of a city man who was found dead in his eastside apartment Thursday

Blaski testified that on the day before Clark was killed, he and several others went to Clark's West 29th Street residence and cased the house to find a way in. He said he drove back to Clark's house the next day with Dortch, McCallum and Bridges and remained outside while the other three went to the house.

Blaski said he learned after the group returned from the house that McCallum shot Clark.

McCallum, Bridges and Dortch were charged with homicide in the killing.

Suspects sought in Erie killingsThe Erie Bureau of Police is pooling its resources in the Criminal Investigation Division in the wake of a series of

Blaski and Grayson both testified at the hearing that they, Bridges and McCallum were involved in the home-invasion robbery at a residence in the 1100 block of West 20th Street on Sept. 3, 2018. They said they grabbed a man they encountered when entering the residence and tied him up, then tied up another person they encountered upstairs.

The group stole marijuana and coins from the residence, and attempts were made to set the house on fire, according to the testimony.

McCallum is additionally charged with attempted homicide in the June 18, 2018, shooting. The victim in that incident testified at the April 6 hearing that McCallum and a person he did not know came up to him in the area of East 23rd and French streets, shot him in the leg and robbed him of a necklace and a watch.

Contact Tim Hahn at thahn@timesnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ETNhahn.

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Erie homicides: Last of 5 suspects tied to 2018 killings waives charges