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Police: Man arrested in killing of robbery accomplice

By Jamie Peter, WFMZ.com Reporter, JPeter@wfmz.com
Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:56:18 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 19 2013 05:12:28 AM CST

Arrest made in homicide case

TOBYHANNA TWP., Pa. -

A suspect has been arrested in the killing of a man found dead inside a car in the Poconos this past summer.

William McRae, 23, of Long Pond, Monroe Co., was charged Wednesday with murder in the killing of 20-year-old Brandon Fraser, also of Long Pond, in August.

In July, Fraser, McRae and Emily Woodman, 20, of Pocono Summit were all accused of attacking a 45-year-old man who was attempting to meet a woman he communicated with on Craigslist, Pocono Mountain Regional police said.

The 45-year-old man was ambushed by Fraser and McRae, said police, adding that the pair beat him with a baseball bat and pistol-whipped him. They zip-tied him and stole his wallet, cash and cell phone, police said.

"It was a very brutal attack," said Pocono Mountain Regional Police Lt. Christopher Wagner.

A week later, Fraser was found dead in a parking area off Gap View Drive in the Emerald Lakes development in Tobyhanna Township.

He was in the backseat of his car and had suffered a gunshot wound to the head, police said.

Detectives from the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department arrested McRae in New York City on Wednesday. He faces charges of criminal homicide, illegally possessing a firearm and tampering and fabricating physical evidence.

Police said he fled to New York during their investigation and was picked up by police there. He had been held there the past few months on the robbery warrant.

"It was really was just a falling out between two people who committed the Craig's List robbery," explained Lt. Wagner.

Emily Woodman has been in jail since August in connection with the robbery. Wagner said she shed more light on what happened.

He said, "She really explained that really this was nothing more than William McRae trying to keep Brandon Fraser quiet about the robbery, he was worried that Brandon Fraser was going to expose the crime."

"He's a good young man," said McRae's stepfather, Luther Coe. "I didn't know anything about it, I didn't know they charged him, I didn't know they transported him."

"When him and his friends come over, they relax, do what they do here and then they go. What they do out there like any of your kids or whatever, you don't know," he added. "All news to us. It's one of those situations as a parent you hope you don't go through it but you do, it's part of life and you just got to deal with it the best way you can."