Man accused of killing 2 now faces 3rd murder charge

NEWARK -- A 20-year-old Orange resident arrested in December in connection with the slaying of a college student from Montclair and later charged in another woman's death has been indicted on three counts of murder, the Essex County Prosecutor's...

Man accused of killing 2 now faces 3rd murder charge

NEWARK -- A 20-year-old Orange resident arrested in December in connection with the slaying of a college student from Montclair and later charged in another woman's death has been indicted on three counts of murder, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office confirmed Monday.

Khalil Wheeler-Weaver previously had been charged via criminal complaints in the murders of New Jersey City University student Sarah Butler, 20, and Joanne Brown, 33. A spokesperson for the Prosecutor's Office did not immediately indicate what incident the third count of murder stemmed from.

Butler -- who authorities said was acquainted with Wheeler-Weaver -- was reported missing Nov. 22. Her body was later found buried underneath leaves and debris at the Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange.

Authorities said Brown was reported missing in October, and found dead Dec. 5 in a vacant house on Highland Avenue in Orange, where she was apparently killed.

Investigators said both Butler and Brown were strangled.

NBC New York, citing law enforcement sources, previously reported Wheeler-Weaver was a person of interest in the death of a 19-year-old woman whose burned body was found in an abandoned building in Orange.

In addition to the three murders, court records show the 11-count indictment charges Wheeler-Weaver with aggravated arson and kidnapping, among other offenses.

Thomas Moriarty may be reached at tmoriarty@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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