Murderer shows 'true self' moments after conviction
The mother of murder victim Dashaun Davis said she and her family knew jurors would eventually get the chance to see the real Jeffrey Allen Reid Jr.
"We were waiting for him to show his true self," Chamaine Carlo said, referring to obscene statements Reid made Thursday afternoon, just moments after the jury found him guilty of all charges against him, including first-degree murder.
During his tirade, Reid cursed at the jurors, who were mostly women, and suggested in lewd terms that they perform a sexual act on him.
"Get me the f— outta here," he mumbled to sheriff's deputies in the courtroom, but they were way ahead of him. The deputies had already grabbed Reid and were moving him toward a door that leads to holding cells when Reid turned around to lash out a second time.
Facing the prosecution side of the gallery, which was filled with Davis' grieving loved ones, Reid loudly said, "F— all y'all."
One man in the gallery returned the sentiment, but nearly all of Davis' family and friends chose not to acknowledge his outburst in any way. Neither did presiding Common Pleas Judge Harry M. Ness.
Different demeanor: It's not the same Reid jurors saw all week at the defense table, wearing a black suit and shaking his head in apparent disappointment at a co-defendant's testimony.
It's also not the same Reid jurors watched on video being interviewed by York City Police.
Reid told York City Detectives Paul DeHart and Andy Baez that he fled the state after Davis was fatally shot July 19, 2014, because he was scared he was being framed. During the police interview, he threw friends and lovers under the proverbial bus and told detectives the other robbery crew members were all members of the Bloods criminal street gang.
Reid's street name is "Sincere."
First assistant district attorney Jennifer Russell, who handled the case jointly with deputy prosecutor Kimberly Kipnis, scoffed at the idea Reid was framed. In reality, she said, he orchestrated a robbery spree and gave the orders.
Others charged: The fact that the two robbery attempts and the robbery-murder of Davis failed miserably doesn't make Reid or his co-defendants any less guilty, Russell has said.
Two of them, Malik "Problem" Williams and Shonique Smith Hanna, have pleaded guilty to robbery charges in exchange for having their murder charges dropped. They await sentencing.
The case against the final co-defendant, alleged triggerman Naquan "Squeeze" Coakley, is still pending. He has undergone a mental-health evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial, according to court records. Russell said no action has yet been taken on that report.
Life in prison: Jurors took three hours Thursday to find Reid, 29, guilty of first- and second-degree murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and two counts of attempted robbery.
Each of the murder counts comes with an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole. Although he was found guilty of both murder counts, he will only receive one life sentence, defense attorney Korey Leslie confirmed.
Ness set sentencing for April 29, where Davis' family members will have a chance to speak about the impact his murder has had on their lives.
Will he speak again? Generally, the defendant being sentenced also has a chance to speak, but it's unclear whether the judge will grant Reid that latitude, given his outburst Thursday.
"I can't say I was shocked or surprised or upset by the verdict," Leslie said.
The attorney said he knew Reid would exhibit some emotion when the verdict was read.
"It's rare," he said of such outbursts.
The spree: The group first lurked outside a bar in York City's east end, where they intended to lure out a customer and rob him, according to testimony. But the man, who lives next door to the bar, thwarted the attempt by slamming his front door in Williams' face.
Then Reid, Williams and Coakley went to the home of a woman on the west end of York City who testified she considered Reid one of her best friends. That attempt also failed because they were unable to kick down her door, according to testimony.
Either Reid or Coakley fired Reid's .380-caliber handgun into the air before fleeing, testimony revealed.
Reloaded gun: All four members of the crew ended up back at Reid's home, where Reid reloaded his handgun so they could go back out and try to commit a successful robbery, according to testimony. That's what Reid told city detectives in his taped interview.
Davis, 23, was parked in the 200 block of Union Street, just around the corner from his Juniper Street home, and was sitting in his car listening to music when Reid and Coakley walked up to his car to rob him, according to Russell.
Testimony indicates Coakley shot Davis when Davis tried to grab for the gun, and that Reid ordered Coakley to execute Davis because the victim recognized Reid and called him by his street name. They then stole his cellphone, Russell said.
Hard worker: Davis was a gifted athlete who loved to play basketball and who attended Clemson University, his mother said. He played ball for William Penn Senior High School, graduating in 2008.
"Dashaun was an amazing child," Carlo said. "You put a ball in his hand and it was like magic."
He worked three jobs at one time and had ideas to start small businesses, including a party bus and selling environmentally responsible cleaning products, according to Carlo.
Carlo said now that she's seen justice for her son, she hopes to "do what Dashaun would have wanted me to do," which is focus on herself and her younger son, D'Andre.
"My family prayed day and night for justice," she said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.