Former York County Prison inmate testifies in Hess trial
A man who claims to have been offered payment to lie on the witness stand for murder-for-hire defendant Gregory Allen Hess testified against him at trial Monday.
Mitchell Perez, who served time in York County Prison at the same time Hess was there, said Hess offered to pay Perez around $5,000 for lying to Hess' attorneys and lying on the witness stand.
Hess, 48, of Hoff Road in North Codorus Township, is charged with two counts of solicitation to commit murder — one for Calvin Jones, the other for Michael Crampton — as well one count each of conspiracy to commit murder and using an electronic device to further a crime.
According to court documents, Hess' letter told Perez to say "(Crampton) told (Perez) he fabricated a story to the DA on some old white dude" and told Perez "I'll need you at two trials."
Perez's testimony: Perez claimed Hess asked him to lie to make it seem like Crampton was lying to the district attorney's office.
Perez initially went through with it, telling Hess' attorneys Crampton was lying and that he would speak for the defense. He eventually told Hess' attorneys he changed his mind because he thought it would hurt his own criminal case.
Perez said he told the defense he ran into Crampton in his neighborhood and Crampton said he "set up some white boy," which he said Hess told him to say.
Perez said he communicated to Hess through letters in the prison and Hess said he would compensate Perez for it.
"You have my word," he said Hess wrote in the letter.
Telling the prosecution: York County District Attorney Detective Craig Fenstermacher said he spoke to Perez in May, when the DA's office was questioning prisoners who might've had some contact with Hess.
Fenstermacher said Perez told him he gave a false statement to the defense.
"He had been asked to do so by Greg Hess," Fenstermacher said.
Fenstermacher said when he spoke to Crampton, Crampton did not recognize Perez's name or photo.
Fenstermacher said Perez wanted to tell the truth because he did not believe Hess would pay him and he did not want to get a perjury charge.
The trial resumes Tuesday morning.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com