Arrest made in NJ weeks after man found dead behind Charlotte home

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A murder suspect has been arrested weeks after a man was found shot to death in the backyard of a north Charlotte home.

Police said John Michael Copeland, 55, was arrested Monday in Newark, New Jersey.

He is charged with the murder of 29-year-old Mario Witherspoon.

Detectives believe Witherspoon ran into the backyard of a home on Rush Wind Drive, right off Oaklawn Avenue to get help after Copeland shot him.

He collapsed in the yard and was confirmed dead at the scene.

Officers spent most of the night going door-to-door, talking to neighbors, trying to get more information about what happened.

"It's very important to bring closure to the victim's family, as well as friends and loved ones," said Maj. Dave Robinson, with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Copeland will be extradited back to Mecklenburg County to face a judge.

Police have not said what led to the shooting.

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