Brenner
Brenner

Jury deliberations in a retrial of man previously convicted of the 2005 shooting death of a York City woman will continue Friday morning.

"It's been a long day for you, for everybody," York County Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner told jurors hearing the trial of Ian Christopher Brenner, 33.

The jurors spent the better part of Thursday afternoon deliberating the fate of Brenner, who was previously sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for death of 46-year-old Anna Marie Witter.

Bortner instructed the jury to return to deliberations Friday morning.

"I'm assuming they'll be at this for awhile," he said.

The shooting: Witter was killed when she was struck by an errant bullet as she sat talking with a friend in the 100 block of South Duke Street on Oct. 19, 2005. Two other men, Alfonzo King Sr. and Anthony Zawadzinski, were hit but survived.

Police have said all three were innocent victims and that Brenner was trying to shoot a man who allegedly shot him 10 days prior to the homicide.

Police said Brenner — who did not cooperate with police trying to investigate his shooting — was retaliating with street justice. No charges were ever filed in the shooting of Brenner.


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During the first murder trial, Charles Maner, who was in York County Prison with Brenner, testified that Brenner admitted to him he accidentally shot Witter. Maner further testified that Brenner told him he "felt bad about it," according to court filings as part of Brenner's appeal to the state Superior Court.

Prior conviction: Brenner, who police said was a member of a gang the "212s" and acted as an enforcer, was convicted of first-degree homicide in 2006. He has been in a state prison ever since.

Up until the homicide charge, Brenner didn't have a criminal record.

In 2013, Brenner was granted a new trial after his appeal convinced the state Superior Court that his trial attorney was ineffective for failing to call character witnesses on Brenner's behalf.

He is now represented by Harrisburg-based attorney Joseph Sembrot.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.