Deliberations to start in York murder trial
It doesn't matter whether Jeffrey Allen Reid Jr. fired the shots that killed homicide victim Dashaun Davis, a prosecutor told jurors Wednesday during her closing argument — he is guilty of murder regardless.
"Ladies and gentlemen, there's a saying: In for a penny, in for a pound," first assistant district attorney Jennifer Russell. "They're all culpable for it."
That's because under the legal theory of accomplice liability, each member of a criminal conspiracy is equally guilty of everything that transpires during the crime.
Despite that, defense attorney Korey Leslie argued to the jury during his closing argument that it wasn't Reid who fatally shot Davis, 23, in the 200 block of Union Street as the victim sat in his parked car and listened to music the night of July 19, 2014.
And Russell didn't take issue with that statement.
"The defense argued it was Naquan Coakley who pulled the trigger," she said. "And guess what? The commonwealth agrees."
Russell maintains Reid, Coakley, Malik Williams and Shonique Smith-Hanna agreed as a group to go out and rob people. They first went to Pandora's Box on East Market Street and tried to rob a customer but botched the job.
Second screw-up: The foursome then went to the home of Kiara Favors on West Philadelphia Street to rob her, but they were unable to get inside, Russell said, reminding jurors that testimony indicated Reid was the only member of the group who knew Favors and knew where she lived. Favors testified she considered Reid a best friend.
Frustrated that the second robbery attempt also failed, Reid fired a .380-caliber handgun several times in the air, according to Russell.
After the second botched job, the group went to Reid's home in the 300 block of North Newberry Street. Reid told police that while he was at his home he reloaded his gun, Russell said.
It was Reid who called Davis and convinced him to drive to the block, according to Russell, who was referencing trial testimony from a jailhouse informant who said Reid told him as much.
Russell told jurors it was Reid and Coakley who walked up to Davis' car and tried to rob the man, but Coakley shot him when Davis grabbed for the gun.
'I'm dead': That's when Davis looked at Reid and called him by his street name, saying, "Sincere — I'm dead," the prosecutor maintains. Reid couldn't have Davis identifying him to police as a robber, so he ordered Coakley to "finish" Davis, and Coakley fired again, according to Russell.
"The person most culpable is Jeffrey Reid," she said. "He's got a couple patsies with him, doing his bidding. ... Without Jeff Reid in the mix, Dashaun Davis (would still be) alive."
Leslie conceded in his closing argument that Reid was involved in the two botched robberies, but maintains Reid had backed out of the group's robbery plans before Davis was killed.
Witness lied: He also pointed out that Williams, the only co-conspirator to testify against Reid, lied repeatedly to police and may have lied during his testimony Tuesday.
Presiding Common Pleas Judge Harry Ness said he will instruct jurors on points of law Thursday morning, which will take about an hour, after which he'll send them out to deliberate.
Reid, 29, is charged with first- and second-degree murder, two counts of attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.