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Final defendant sentenced in 2018 Tonopah murder case

The last of three individuals facing charges in a 2018 murder case in Tonopah made their way through the legal process.

Tonopah resident Jeannie Newberry was given the maximum sentence of two to five years in prison over charges surrounding the murder of James Dean Remster, 62, who was living in Tonopah at the time he was killed. Newberry pleaded guilty, under a plea agreement, to information of accessory to murder in August, court records show.

Newberry was one of three people who faced charges in Remster’s murder.

One of those charged and convicted in Remster’s murder was his son-in-law, Jeremmy of Burch, of Tonopah.

Burch was sentenced this summer, pursuant to a plea agreement, to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 10 years for second-degree murder. He was also sentenced to two to five years in prison for accessory to murder under the plea agreement, according to a news release earlier in 2019 from the Nye County District Attorney’s office.

Newberry’s brother, Thomas Schwartz, also pleaded guilty to charges earlier in 2019.

Schwartz, taking refuge from the raging Camp Fire in November 2018, had only been in town for a matter of weeks when Remster’s murder occurred. Schwartz is from the Oroville, California area.

Schwartz was given a six-month suspended sentence in his case, where he has to stay out of trouble for two years. According to court records, this means “further criminal activity other than minor traffic.” The Oroville resident, under a plea agreement, pleaded guilty to an obstructing a public officer charge, a misdemeanor, at the end of August.

Remster, who had been living with Jeremmy Burch and his daughter Jamie Burch prior to being killed, was reported missing in December 2018. His body was later found thrown down an abandoned mine shaft 30 miles east of Tonopah in the spring of 2019. In a previous interview in the fall, Jamie said she was working on getting a divorce from Jeremmy.

Detectives questioned Jeremmy at his Tonopah residence, after a missing persons report was filed on Remster on Dec. 19. At the time of the questioning, Jeremmy told detectives he’d last seen Remster on Dec. 3 and that he could be catching a bus to Tennessee.

Following that interview with detectives, Jeremmy and Jamie left Tonopah “hastily” and traveled to Amarillo, Texas, according to a sheriff’s office’s release.

“After numerous interviews, detectives identified that in early of January 2019, that (Jeremmy) Burch had told people that he killed Mr. Remster and threw him in a mine shaft,” according to a video release from the sheriff’s office.

Detectives were able to find the mine Remster was in through follow-up investigation and interviews.

Jeremmy was arrested on March 17, 2019 in Amarillo, a day after Remster’s body was discovered in the mine shaft near Tonopah.

Newberry and Schwartz were both arrested in July for charges surrounding the murder case.

The connection Newberry and Schwartz had to the case was discovered through text messages between them on Newberry’s cell phone. The text messages appeared to be related to the case, according to information in a sheriff’s office video release. Following up, detectives went to California to question Schwartz.

According to a video release from the sheriff’s office, Schwartz told detectives that Newberry, Burch and Remster all went to the mine shaft.

“Newberry then left Burch and Remster, and when she returned to the mine shaft, Burch had killed Remster,” Ann Horak, public information officer for the sheriff’s office, said in the video release. “Newberry assisted Burch in cutting barbed wire from the outside of the mine shaft so that Burch could throw Remster inside. Burch and Newberry left the scene, went back to their residence and disclosed this information to Schwartz. Newberry told Schwartz not to tell anyone about the murder.”

At that time, Burch asked Thomas to go burn items that belonged to Remster in the desert, Horak said Schwartz told Nye County and Oroville authorities.

“Burch told Schwartz that he hoped to make it appear as though Remster had left town,” Horak said in the video release. “Schwartz told detectives that he entered Remster’s apartment with Burch and the two burned several items in the desert, to include clothing, various belongings, and Remster’s cell phone.”

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com, on Twitter @MeehanLv

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