Editor's note: This article should have run Jan. 15, 2014.
Joshua Lookingbill had a plan, according to his prosecutor.
"He had a plan to remove the man who was in the way of him seeing his children," and in the way of Lookingbill's being with Olga Cuadra, the mother of Lookingbill's three daughters, said first assistant district attorney Jennifer Russell.
But a jury apparently didn't agree that Lookingbill planned to murder 37-year-old Nakia "Nitty" Williams, and on Wednesday afternoon acquitted the defendant of first-degree murder.
Jurors deliberated about four hours before convicting Lookingbill of second-degree murder and burglary.
"He destroyed our family," Williams' mother, Carolyn Greene, said outside the courtroom.
Satisfied: Greene, of North Carolina, said while she had hoped for a first-degree murder conviction, she is satisfied with the jury's decision.
"At least he won't be on the streets again," she said.
Also in court to hear the verdict was the victim's son, 19-year-old Quamir Williams of Newark, N.J.
The young man said he's happy the conviction has made his grandmother smile again.
Common Pleas Judge Thomas H. Kelley VI scheduled sentencing for Feb. 25, but it is merely a formality.
Life sentence: In Pennsylvania, second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Lookingbill, 25, of West Poplar Street, remains in York County Prison awaiting that hearing.
He attacked and killed Williams about 4:20 a.m. Jan. 31, 2013, inside Cuadra's South Pershing Avenue home.
"This was a premeditated, planned attack," Russell told jurors during her closing argument Wednesday morning.
After the verdict, she said she continues to believe it was a first-degree murder, but is happy with the second-degree conviction.
Lookingbill grabbed a 14-inch carving knife from his home, walked the 6-1/2 blocks to Cuadra's home and broke in through a window he knew was patched with Plexiglas, Russell said.
'Sneak attack': The "sneak attack" happened when Lookingbill knew everyone would be sleeping, she said, meaning Williams would be unarmed, helpless and unable to fight back.
Lookingbill crept up the stairs and through the bedroom where his three daughters and his 7-year-old stepson were sleeping to get to the bed Cuadra and Williams shared, according to testimony.
"He lifts the knife ... and plunges it into Nakia Williams," Russell said, over and over, with such force that one of the wounds was 4-1/2 inches deep -- so deep that the large knife pierced the victim's heart through his back.
Lookingbill then ran from the scene and ditched the bloody knife in a nearby alley.
Boy saw 'Daddy Josh': Cuadra's son, now 8, testified Monday that he awoke to see his "Daddy Josh" running down the stairs of the apartment, and Cuadra testified a jealous Lookingbill had previously threatened to harm Williams.
Just hours after Williams bled to death in bed, Lookingbill was sitting in the York City detective bureau, being questioned.
He confessed to killing Williams and identified the bloody knife -- found in an alley about a block from Cuadra's home by a high-school student walking to school -- as being the weapon he used, testimony revealed.
'Something snapped': Chief public defender Bruce Blocher argued to jurors that Lookingbill was merely in the home to see his children, but "something snapped" in him when he saw Williams in bed with Cuadra.
Takeemah Pressley, the victim's cousin, said Williams was a good father figure to Cuadra's children.
"We definitely feel sorry for those children," she said.
-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.