Robert C. Williams
Robert C. Williams

Jurors who found Robert C. Williams guilty of murder on Friday for luring Stanley Cotton into a fatal robbery trap didn't get to hear two interesting pieces of information about the case.

They weren't told the gun used to kill Cotton was the same gun convicted second-degree murderer Anthony Paul White Jr. used a month later to kill Christopher Armagost, prosecutors confirmed.

Jurors also weren't told of family connections between White and Williams.

Williams' father and uncle were married to sisters of White's grandmother, according to York City detectives. But George Marros, Williams' defense attorney, said Williams told him he has no connection to White.

The gunman who killed Cotton has so far not been arrested.

Anthony White Jr.
Anthony White Jr.

Case active: Chief deputy prosecutor David Sunday, who prosecuted both Williams and White, said the case remains active.

"Investigators do have a suspect and they are following every lead they have," he said. "We are absolutely committed to finding the shooter of Stanley Cotton, regardless of how long it takes."

White is serving a life sentence for fatally shooting Armagost, 30, at the victim's 315 S. Penn St. home on Dec. 10 during a botched robbery.

White still has seven pending criminal cases in York County, all for alleged armed robberies and carjackings. He was free on bail pending sentencing on a convenience-store robbery when he murdered Armagost.

Violent ring: City detectives have said White was part of a violent robbery ring that targeted numerous individuals and businesses. Of all the alleged ring members, he and Ronald D. Sweeney Jr. received the most media attention.

In June, a federal grand jury indicted Sweeney for allegedly carjacking a York City grandfather who was left paralyzed by a gunshot.

Police said Sweeney shot Raymond Hernandez in the back about 2:40 p.m. Oct. 5, 2011, as the victim waited outside Lincoln Charter School to pick up his grandson.

Ronald Sweeney Jr.
Ronald Sweeney Jr.

Sweeney, 21, is also accused of robbing a 75-year-old man in broad daylight; robbing a pizza delivery person at gunpoint; and robbing a York City corner store at gunpoint.

His jury selection in federal court for the carjacking case is set for Jan. 3, court records state.

Friday's verdict: A jury on Friday determined Cotton's shooter was helped by Williams, who lured the 44-year-old Cotton - his crack-cocaine dealer -- to 612 W. Market St. about 10:30 p.m. Nov. 10, 2011.

Williams was convicted of second-degree murder and robbery, and sentenced to life in prison.

Cotton's widow, Terry "Lynn" Cotton moved from York to North Carolina after the killing. That's where Cotton was raised and where his family lives. She spoke in court prior to Williams being sentenced.

"What you did was horribly wrong," she told the defendant. "You left me and my kids without a husband and father ... and I just want to know why."

Williams maintained his innocence while addressing the court.

"Like I said from the beginning to the end, I was never involved in no robbery or set-up," he said. "I feel like the justice system has failed me."

The victim: Lynn Cotton said she and Stanley were together for 17 years, and married for 14 of them.

They have three children together -- 13- and 8-year-old sons and an 11-year-old daughter. The victim also has a 25-year-old son from a previous relationship, Lynn said.

"He was a good father ... a good husband," she said, and sold drugs to put food on the table and pay bills.

He was fun to be around and loved sports, and often played football with his children, she said.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.