More than two years have passed since former Newberry Township resident Ty Depew died after being attacked by three fellow street people in downtown Harrisburg.
Dauphin County chief deputy district attorney Michael Rozman said it appears the dispute erupted over a single dollar bill. Whether Depew was robbed or his alleged killers simply took the dollar to mess with him remains unclear.
"A dollar to someone who is homeless is worth way more than a dollar to you or me," Rozman noted.
One of Depew's three accused killers apologized last week in Dauphin County Court when he was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison for the slaying.
Michael J. Sims, 47, of Harrisburg, pleaded guilty Oct. 11 to involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy to commit robbery, court records state.
Co-defendants: Mark A. Glacken, 44, of Harrisburg, and Alberto F. Velez Jr., 22, of Steelton, remain in Dauphin County Prison awaiting separate murder trials. Prosecutors have made plea offers to both men, Rozman confirmed.
Ty Depew, 43, died Aug. 12, 2010, at Hershey Medical Center from complications of traumatic brain injury, according to the Dauphin County Coroner's Office.
He was a good man, but struggled with alcoholism and was homeless, according to his father, Lindsay Depew Jr.
Sims and Glacken also were homeless, said Rozman, who described Velez as a street person who stayed with family or friends.
The attack: Harrisburg Police said Depew was near the Harrisburg bus terminal in the 200 block of Market Street about 11 p.m. Aug. 3, 2010, when he was confronted by the three men.
"I don't think anyone intended for this guy to die," Rozman said. "There was some sort of dispute and the victim ... went to a phone booth and dialed 911. He started telling the 911 dispatcher that these guys were messing with him. Then he started yelling, 'Where's my dollar? Give my dollar back.'"
The trio walked away, but apparently returned when they realized Depew was calling 911, the prosecutor said.
"Then you hear Mr. Depew yelling, 'Get that knife away from my throat,'" Rozman said.
Knife wounds: Velez held the knife to Depew's neck, causing two superficial wounds, according to Rozman.
Security video from a nearby bank recorded a portion the attack. Depew can be seen hitting the ground, after which Velez went through his pockets, Rozman said.
Glacken has admitted to punching Depew before he fell to the ground, Rozman said.
"(Depew) died as a result of closed-head injuries," he said. "(We don't know) whether that's from a fist hitting his head or his head hitting the ground, or a combination of the two."
Father speaks: Lindsay Depew Jr. spoke at Sims' sentencing hearing.
"He said he didn't understand why this had to happen, but he believed that Mr. Sims and the other guys didn't intend for his son to die, and that he does forgive them," Rozman said. "He told Sims he hopes he can find peace with what he did."
For his part, Sims apologized in court and told the judge he didn't mean to kill Depew, according to Rozman.
Rozman said the victim had no alcohol in his system when he was killed.
"He was in Harrisburg Hospital for dehydration and other unrelated issues ... for three or four days," he said, and was released less than four hours before he was attacked.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at email@example.com.