LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — There was high drama Thursday inside a Lackawanna County courtroom during a nearly five-hour-long hearing for the man accused of murdering a well-known area businessman.

Thursday a judge ruled there is sufficient evidence to send 37-year-old Justin Schuback to trial for the murder of 58-year-old Robert Baron of Old Forge.

Loads of dramatic and scientific testimonies were heard Thursday at the hearing which lasted nearly 5 hours. There was standing room only in courtroom number two as members of both the Baron and Schuback families were in attendance.

Justin Shuback, 37, is charged with homicide, robbery, burglary, and abuse of a corpse. He was arrested in March 2023.

Robert Baron went missing on the night of January 25, 2017, after closing up his restaurant, “Ghigiarelli’s Pizza” on South Main Street in Old Forge. Investigators say that Schuback was on their radar from day one.

Detectives say that DNA evidence and cell phone records helped lead to the arrest. In recent weeks Baron’s skeletal remains were found in a wooded area near Old Forge.

In court on Thursday, a PSP Forensics Investigator testified about what they found inside Baron’s restaurant the night he was killed. The trooper said they found blood throughout the restaurant, blood splatter on the wall, and a cleaning bucket that had blood on it. It also looked like someone tried to clean up the blood, the trooper stated.

Lackawanna County Coroner Tim Rowland testified that the remains found at Pagnotti Park were those of Robert Baron, who died from traumatic injuries.

A DNA expert testified that they found Schuback’s DNA inside Baron’s car, on the driver’s side door, and steering wheel.

A detective who is a digital expert also testified that cell tower records place Schuback’s cell phone near Ghigiarelli’s restaurant as well as Pagnotti Park the night Baron was murdered and the day after the murder.

“DNA is key testimony presented today that placed the defendant in the vehicle despite denying it and clearly dna supporting the blood scene and violent crime that occurred unfortunately in the restaurant,” said Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell.

Courtney Rake who lived with Schuback testified that on the night Baron was murdered. Schuback disappeared for about five hours and when he returned home he was out of breath, sweaty, and had mud on his clothes.

D.A. Powell says they have the killer.

“We have chased down any other leads in order to explore and make sure no stone was unturned,” Powell added.

Bernie brown, Schuback’s attorney, insists other possible suspects can’t be ruled out.

“There’s other evidence, there’s at least other evidence of one, if not more people that may have been able to be looked at,” Brown explained.

Schuback is expected to stand trial by the end of the year. Members of the Baron and Schuback families did not want to comment after the hearing.