Opening statements began Monday afternoon in the first-degree murder trial of Anthony Paul White Jr., a purported member of a violent robbery gang accused of fatally shooting a man during a botched robbery.
White, 22, of 253 S. Penn St., is charged with murder and related offenses for the Dec. 10 fatal shooting of Christopher Armagost, 30, of 315 S. Penn St., at the victim's home, York City Police said.
At the time of the slaying, White was free on bail, awaiting sentencing on a convenience store robbery.
He also had an active arrest warrant in another, unrelated robbery, police said.
During his opening statement chief deputy prosecutor David Sunday told jurors White followed one of Armagost's roommates -- Julie Wolpert --
Armagost pushed White out of the home and shut the door, at which point White fired through the door, hitting Armagost twice, in the spine and neck, Sunday said.
Against door: When he was fatally shot, Armagost was holding his back door shut, according to the prosecutor.
"That would be the last conscious thing Christopher Armagost would ever do," Sunday said.
Wolpert and her boyfriend both picked White's photo from a photo lineup, he told jurors.
Wolpert also told police the killer had gold teeth, and detectives later found removable gold teeth in White's possession, with White's DNA on them, Sunday said.
Sunday also told jurors a forensic expert will testify the boot print left on the victim's door is the same size, shape and type of Ralph Lauren Polo boots White was wearing that night.
'Lies and railroading': But during his opening statement, defense attorney Joshua Neiderhiser told jurors Wolpert's story can't be believed, and that "something else was going on here."
"What this case is actually about are lies and the railroading of Mr. White for offenses he could not have committed," Neiderhiser said.
He told jurors Wolpert and her boyfriend were involved in the drug world, and that Armagost had both cocaine and heroin in his system when he was killed.
Details of Wolpert's story changed several times, he alleged.
Wolpert was the first prosecution witness to take the stand.
She testified she left her home to walk to Young's corner grocery store less than a block away, but stopped when she saw some guys hanging out in front of the store.
Friend in area: She said she was on the phone with a friend named "Will" and asked him to meet her because he was driving through the area. Will picked her up, then drove her a half a block from home and dropped her off, ignoring her concerns that a man was targeting her, she said.
She said her boyfriend met her at the intersection of Brooklyn and West College avenues and they walked home together, but were followed by White, who kicked in the door and pulled a gun.
"He was pointing a gun at my cat," she testified, and the gun jammed or misfired. "I said, 'Really dude? A cat? What's up?' He kept trying to fire."
Armagost ran downstairs, got White out of the house and shut the door, which is when White fired through the door and killed Armagost, according to Wolpert's testimony.
Drug world? She admitted she'd previously used drugs including heroin and cocaine, but that she's been sober since 2008 or 2009.
On cross-examination by Neiderhiser, Wolpert said she doesn't know the last name of her friend "Will."
"I don't know a lot of people's last names," she said, then denied he's a drug dealer.
Wolpert also confirmed other names in her cell phone address book including Killer, Homicide and Gangster.
Prosecution testimony is expected to resume Tuesday morning.
Jurors will not hear that White has previously been convicted or robbery, or that he has other pending criminal cases in York County Court.
In January, White was sentenced to one to two years in state prison for robbing the American Food Mart, 451 E. Philadelphia St., of cash and cartons of cigarettes in November 2010.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.