Witness: Man argued with, then killed York City man 2 years ago
A friend of a man shot to death two years ago in York City testified in a pre-trial hearing Tuesday that he saw the man accused of the crime argue with the victim and then shoot him through a door.
Kareem Lamar Todd, 26, of Philadelphia, will stand trial in the spring on charges of first-degree murder and related crimes in the shooting death of Jazz Beady.
Prosecutors introduced the testimony of a York City man who said he saw the whole incident, and had a role in it.
The attorney of the man who testified asked that the witness' name not be released until trial for the man's safety. The witness is currently behind bars while criminal proceedings for unrelated crimes. He's facing drug and firearm charges.
The witness was granted immunity for his testimony, meaning he will not face charges based on his testimony for anything illegal he told the court.
What happened: Prosecutor David Maisch asked the witness what happened in the early morning of Sept. 13, 2013.
"Murder of one of my friends," the witness said.
The witness laid out a narrative about the night Beady, then 26, died.
He said he, Beady, Todd and a couple of other people had an encounter behind the buildings in the 600 block of West Princess Street around 3 a.m. Beady and Todd argued over a sale of drugs, the witness aid.
"Jazz confronted him," he said.
But then they all went their separate ways.
The witness, who lived just down the block, went home. A friend came into his apartment a few minutes later to tell him Todd had been back and arguing with Beady again, he said.
The witness said he went back outside and found Todd had left and Beady was on a porch nearby.
The witness went to join Beady on the porch and saw Todd and someone else coming back again, he said.
Todd came up onto the porch, looking for Beady.
Seeing Todd coming, Beady entered the vestibule of the home with the porch, but was able to go no farther after encountering locked doors inside.
"I guess he had a second thought," the witness said.
Todd, with .357-caliber snub-nose revolver drawn, came back up onto the porch, and the witness, pulling out his .32-caliber revolver, moved to meet him, the witness said.
He said the two argued, and then Todd fired a single shot through the door at Beady.
That's the shot the prosecution says struck Beady in the head, eventually resulting in his death several hours later at a local hospital.
'Total chaos': After the fatal shot, "total chaos" erupted, the witness said — Todd might have fired off more shots, but the witness wasn't sure, though he knew he himself had let loose six shots.
The witness said he spent time in state prison with Todd — they were in the same cell block for a while — so he recognized him, though at the time he only knew him by the nickname "Reem."
Todd, who bickered with defense attorney Rick Robinson at several points throughout the hearing, called the testimony he had just heard "lies" and said it was just the "police version" of what happened.
The trial, which will likely take several days, has been scheduled for the third week in March.
— Reach Sean Cotter at firstname.lastname@example.org.