Man charged with 5 Philadelphia slayings in 2011 and 2017

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police have announced the arrest of a man in connection with five separate Philadelphia homicides dating back to 2011.

A police spokesman says 29-year-old Michael Blackston was arrested Saturday night and charged with five counts of murder, conspiracy, and weapons charges.

Blackston is accused of having gunned down 26-year-old Saleem Garland in June 2011 and 22-year-old Gary Wilson and 22-year-old Kristin Freeman in separate homicides in July 2011.

He’s also is accused of having killed 20-year-old Brandon Vincent and 20-year-old Michael Cousette in separate slayings in September 2017.

No information was immediately released about the motives for the slayings.

Defense attorney Fortunato Perri Jr. said Monday he had just been made aware of the new charges and would have no comment until he had an opportunity to review the cases.

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