A jury on Wednesday found Derrick Eugene Johnson guilty of first-degree murder for his involvement in a shooting death outside a York City strip club, but that doesn't necessarily mean they believe Johnson was the man who fired the single bullet that killed 21-year-old Trevahn Kent.

Senior deputy prosecutor Duane Ramseur told the jury in his closing argument that it doesn't matter if he or another man charged in the murder pulled the trigger; they could still find Johnson guilty because of the legal concept of "accomplice liability," under which a jury can find a person liable for acts committed by another person.

By waiting in an alcove for about 45 minutes in the hopes of catching Kent as he left Temptations, 617 E. Market St., Johnson was clearly ready to participate in the murder, Ramseur told the jury, which deliberated for about two hours.

Johnson knew he wasn't there to talk about Sunday breakfast or what to tell his parents he wanted on Christmas morning, Ramseur told the jury.

A second man who allegedly waited for Kent in the alcove, 22-year-old Damian Chaudre Banks of Hampton, Va., is also charged with Kent's homicide and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing June 17.

Banks testified for the prosecution, but Johnson's defense attorney, Kevin Hoffman, told the jury in his closing that many of the witnesses who testified were doing so for self-serving reasons. Those included, in Banks' case, possible leniency from the state for criminal charges, Hoffman said.


Advertisement

Hoffman told the jury Banks is "hoping he can get off" despite the evidence against him, including having a motive and having a gun - two things he said Johnson didn't have.

What happened: Ramseur said Johnson, 25, of York, fired a .45-caliber bullet into Kent's heart and lungs on Feb. 17, 2013, because a month earlier at the same strip club, Kent's friend had asked Johnson and his friends to move aside so he could keep playing pool.

The request led Johnson's group to start a fight in the club, and when Johnson and Banks spotted Kent at Temptations a month later, Johnson hid in an alcove outside the club for 45 minutes until Kent and a friend walked out, Ramseur said.

Hoffman implied Banks fired the deadly shot in February because it was he who had been engaged in the fight in January, but Ramseur said Johnson pulled the trigger. He said Johnson and Banks are the only two people who know what really happened.

- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.