The jurors eventually chosen for the murder trial of 16-year-old Jordan Wallick will not hear a rap song about robbery he allegedly wrote and recorded on his MySpace page, a judge has ruled.
Jurors also won't see photographs from Wallick's MySpace page, Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner decided Friday.
Wallick is accused of fatally shooting James Wallmuth III, 28, of West Manchester Township, during a botched robbery attempt.
Charged as an adult with first- and second-degree murder, robbery, conspiracy and possession of a firearm by a minor, Wallick remains in county prison without bail, awaiting trial.
The background: York City Police said Wallick was 15 years old when he and three other people went out looking for someone to rob about 11 p.
Wallick approached Wallmuth as the victim was talking on his cell phone and sitting on a bench in Foundry Park, near the intersection of Grant Street and West Clarke Avenue, police said.
The robbery went bad and Wallick shot Wallmuth in the back, police allege.
Wallmuth worked in the York County District Attorney's Office for about four years as a case manager, but left his job to attend law school at University of Pittsburgh.
Suppression motions: Defense attorney Dawn Cutaia filed motions seeking to suppress various evidence the prosecution planned to present at trial. That included the song on Wallick's MySpace page called "Stick Up Boys," which her motion noted appears to be a song about robbery.
Cutaia argued it's difficult to understand the words, and none of the lyrics appear to be related to Wallmuth's homicide. Also, she argued, prosecutors can't prove Wallick's MySpace page hadn't been tampered with by other people.
Judge Bortner ruled allowing jurors to hear the song would be prejudicial and not relevant to the case.
'Huge win': He also ruled jurors won't see photos of Wallick from his page on the social-networking site, noting they also are irrelevant to the case.
"We really consider the MySpace decision about the rap lyrics to be a huge win," Cutaia said. "They were so prejudicial, and the commonwealth could not authenticate them."
Chief deputy prosecutor Karen Comery said she wasn't surprised the judge suppressed the song and photos.
"I don't think it weakens our case at all," she said.
But had the judge allowed the song and photos to be presented at trial, "I think we would've been able to authenticate them through our witnesses."
Other rulings: Bortner denied three other defense suppression motions.
He denied Cutaia's request that the photo lineup police used -- which led to a positive identification of Wallick by one shooting eyewitness -- be ruled inadmissible at trial.
The judge also ruled jurors will hear statements made by Wallmuth after he was shot.
The victim said the person who shot him had been trying to steal his cell phone, authorities said. He also made statements that indicated he was in pain and suffering.
Bortner determined those statements are admissible and relevant at trial.
"I'm happy with those rulings," Comery said.
No trial date: Wallick's trial date has not yet been set.
"But hopefully this ruling puts the case closer to a trial date," Comery said.
Wallick's three co-defendants are expected to plead guilty and testify against him, Comery said.
They are Kenneth Santiago-Curet, 20, of York City; Joshua Edmoundson, 20, of Conewago Township; and Victor Nelson Virola, 18, of York City.
-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.