A second homeless man has pleaded guilty to causing the death of former Newberry Township resident Ty Depew on the streets of Harrisburg more than 2-1/2 years ago.
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 attackers simply took the dollar to mess with him remains unclear.
"I think they decided to just mess with him a little bit, and it just got out of hand," Rozman said. "I don't think anyone intended to do any serious harm. However, the poor guy ended up dying."
Trial was set to begin this week for Mark Glacken, 44, of Harrisburg. Instead, he pleaded guilty Feb. 13 to involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Prison ordered: As part of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to a total of five to 10 years in state prison, Rozman said.
It's the same charges co-defendant Michael J. Sims pleaded guilty to in October. He also was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.
The case against a third co-defendant, Alberto Velez Jr., 23, of Steelton, remains active.
He is set to appear before presiding Judge Todd Hoover on March 19, according to Rozman.
"I expect that, one way or another, there's going to be a plea," he said.
Rozman confirmed plea negotiations are ongoing with Velez's attorney.
The background: 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 because of it, according to his father, Lindsay Depew Jr.
Sims and Glacken also were homeless, according to Rozman, who said Velez stayed with family.
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.
"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 a knife to Depew's neck, leaving two superficial wounds, according to Rozman.
Glacken then punched Depew, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground. After Depew fell, Velez went through his pockets, according to the prosecutor.
"It was just one punch," Rozman said. "But for that punch, he'd probably still be around."
Both Glacken and Sims apologized in court, according to Rozman.
Father speaks out: Depew's father, Lindsay Depew Jr., spoke in court when both Sims and Glacken were sentenced.
"I told them I didn't really believe they wanted Ty to die," he said. "I told them it was a stupid, stupid thing to do. I described how Ty looked at the hospital, tubes all through him."
Ty Depew was in a coma when his family got to the hospital.
"We never did get a chance to say goodbye," the grieving father said. "We talked to him. ... He may have heard us, who knows."
In open court, Lindsay Depew told Glacken -- and Sims before him -- that he forgave them. He urged them to turn their lives around.
"I don't like these guys. I don't like what they did," he said. "But Christ forgave us. Who are we not to forgive?"
Lindsay Depew said he and his family were agreeable to the plea agreements because it allowed Ty Depew's mother to avoid the pain of hearing trial testimony.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.