Robert C. Williams knew he was luring his drug dealer into a dangerous trap when he walked him inside a York City apartment building, prosecutors allege.
In the stairwell of 612 W. Market St., a masked gunman robbed Stanley Cotton, then fatally shot him about 10:15 p.m. Nov. 10.
But defense attorney George Marros said Williams, known as "Peanut," is innocent.
"He wasn't involved in any set-up or robbery of Stanley Cotton," Marros said.
At a preliminary hearing Friday, a district judge determined enough evidence exists against Williams for a jury to decide the case.
Williams, 35, of 331 Stone Ave. in York City, is now facing trial on charges of homicide, robbery and conspiracy. He remains in county prison without bail.
Cotton, 44, of East Poplar Street, died of a single gunshot wound to the back, according to York City Police.
Witness: At Friday's hearing, a man who was with Cotton that night testified about the robbery.
Bobby Barnes said he and Cotton met Williams at the corner of West Market and West streets, so Williams could buy drugs from Cotton. At that point, all three men walked into the apartment building, he said.
Once they were inside, a masked robber came around the corner and fired one shot, according to Barnes. He told Barnes and Cotton to get on the ground, then ordered Williams to go through Cotton's pockets.
Barnes said the gunman robbed him as well, and also pistol-whipped him. The gun fired a second time as Barnes was being struck with it, he said.
According to Barnes' testimony, Williams was not robbed and was told by the gunman to leave the building.
Alleged confession: The only other witness called by chief deputy prosecutor Karen Comery was a York County Prison inmate who said Williams confessed to him.
Marvin Evison Davis, 37, of York, testified he saw Williams being brought into the prison. He said he's known Williams about 10 years and asked the man what had happened.
"He said he was involved in a homicide at 612 W. Market St.," Davis said. "He said ... 'We didn't mean to kill him, but he died.'"
Davis testified Williams said, "He thought sh- was sweet, so we had to get him." Davis said he took that to mean Cotton was viewed as being "soft."
Credible? But Marros questioned Davis' credibility and motives for taking the stand.
"He's ... a jailhouse snitch" who's looking for consideration in his own pending criminal case, Marros said.
Davis remains in prison, charged with the Jan. 13 robbery of the Metro Bank at 2160 S. Queen St. in York Township.
The identity of the man who killed Cotton remains unknown, and Comery said the investigation is still active.
Three days after Cotton was killed, Williams was shot three times by an unknown person, according to Comery.
Williams told police he was shot during a botched robbery, but Comery said detectives are looking into whether Williams' shooting might be related to Cotton's slaying.
-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at email@example.com, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.