A York City man found guilty of gunning down his robbery victim more than a year ago will be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.
A jury on Friday took about an hour to convict Shamar A. McCowin, 24, of 250 S. Penn St., of second-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Sentencing is set for March 24, but it is merely a formality. In Pennsylvania, life in prison without parole is the only sentence for adults convicted of first- and second-degree murder.
McCowin maintains his innocence and will appeal, defense attorney Marc Semke said.
Killed during the Nov. 6, 2012, carjacking near the intersection of Hope Avenue and Green Street was Edward Leon Green, 46, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Sleeping in car: Green was staying with friends in the area and was sleeping in his car, police have said.
He was head cook at the Roosevelt Tavern for about 20 years and had dreamed of opening his own restaurant, according to his former co-workers, who said Green's survivors include two young sons.
McCowin's co-defendant, Malcolm Mansour Bull, 20, of 609 N. Hartley St., is expected to plead guilty next month in the Green homicide as well as a non-fatal shooting that happened a day before Green's murder.
Made a deal: Bull testified against McCowin at trial last week. In exchange for his testimony, he will receive consideration in his own cases, chief deputy prosecutor Dave Maisch confirmed.
Bull remains charged with Green's homicide, as well as with attempted homicide and related offenses for allegedly shooting Ronald Rhoades at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and Lincoln Street in York City on Nov. 5, 2012.
Rhoades, who was 24 at the time, survived his wounds. He was shot in the back of the leg and suffered a minor gunshot wound to the back of his head, police said at the time.
Bull's agreement with prosecutors calls for him to receive a maximum possible sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison on each case, Maisch confirmed, adding it will be up to a judge to decide the exact sentences.
The murder: Police have said McCowin and Bull were walking in the area of the 400 block of West Princess Street, looking for someone to rob, when they spotted Green sleeping in his car.
McCowin opened the front passenger door and started shooting at Green, who began to run away while yelling for help, police said. McCowin fired a few more times at Green, then he and Bull jumped into Green's Toyota Camry and fled the scene, police said.
They drove Green's car to the rear of the 400 block of West College Avenue and torched its interior, according to police.
During his confession, Bull told detectives he didn't think Green was going to be shot during the robbery.
But McCowin's defense attorney said Bull's story doesn't make sense, and argued to jurors that Bull was the shooter that night.
Not a 'regular night': Bull told jurors the hours leading up to the homicide were a "regular night," according to Semke.
"But he shot someone 13 hours before (the homicide)," the attorney said.
Semke said he told jurors Bull didn't know Rhoades had survived and was desperate to steal a car and get out of town.
The gun used to kill Green was the same gun used to shoot Rhoades, Semke said.
But Maisch said he believes Bull was telling the truth, because physical evidence and eyewitness testimony bolstered his account.
"I was satisfied, as were the detectives, that what Malcolm Bull was telling us was correct," he said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.