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Judge: Remorseless murderer must be caged for life
Convicted murderer Jeffrey Allen Reid Jr. was unrepentant at his sentencing hearing Friday for the robbery and murder of Dashaun Davis, telling the court he doesn't care what anyone thinks.
"You are a savage," presiding Common Pleas Judge Harry M. Ness told Reid. "There is nothing society can do for you ... but put you in a cage."
Ness sentenced Reid to life in prison, plus an additional 24 to 48 years. There is no possibility of parole.
Reid, 29, of York, was convicted in March of first- and second-degree murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, two counts of attempted robbery and being a convicted felon in illegal possession of a firearm. In addition to robbing and killing Davis, Reid and several co-defendants also tried to commit two other robberies but botched them.
After jurors announced their verdict last month, Reid let loose with an obscenity-filled tirade in open court, during which he suggested in lewd terms that jurors perform a sexual act on him. As deputies hurried him out of the courtroom that day, he turned to Davis' loved ones and loudly said, "F— all y'all."
On Friday, Ness told Reid he was reluctant to let the man speak, which is standard at sentencing hearings, because of that outburst. Ness called it "particularly vile."
'I don't care': Reid, who had been fitted with a shock belt by county sheriff's deputies to ensure he stayed in line, managed not to curse this time, but his words were still offensive to Davis' mother and others gathered for the hearing. Five deputies surrounded Reid throughout the hearing and kept a watchful eye on him.
"Only thing I wanna say, I didn't do nothing," Reid said. "You all can believe what you want. Other than that, I don't care."
Ness told the killer there's nothing the system can do to change "the way you live your life or the person you are."
Reid fled the state with the mother of his child after the 23-year-old Davis was robbed and fatally shot July 19, 2014, while sitting in his car in the 200 block of Union Street.
Testimony indicated co-defendant Naquan "Squeeze" 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 — "Sincere." They then stole his cellphone, senior deputy prosecutor Jennifer Russell has said.
After being captured and returned to York County, Reid spoke with York City detectives and blamed the other alleged members of his robbery crew for the killing. He also said they all are members of the Bloods criminal street gang.
Under the bus: It's not the first time Reid has thrown friends under the proverbial bus.
In 2009, Reid testified against Bloods gang member Anthony Kareem Hayes, charged with the murder of Kenneth Ramos Jr., who was the leader of a York-based subset gang of the Bloods, police have said. Hayes was convicted of third-degree murder, but recently won a new trial because jurors in his case apparently were not properly instructed.
Reid, who ran away without calling for help after Ramos was gunned down, testified against Hayes in exchange for consideration on his drug-dealing case, he confirmed at the time.
At Friday's hearing, Russell told the judge that Reid has a significant criminal history and had a defiant demeanor throughout trial. She successfully urged Ness to impose extra time on Reid's mandatory life sentence. Reid also must pay his share of nearly $13,000 in restitution, to be split among the co-defendants.
Victim had dreams: Davis' mother, Charmaine Carlo, told the judge that the day her son was murdered was the worst day in her life.
"I can't fully put my pain in words," she said, and described her oldest son as shy, kind and intelligent.
"They used to call Dashaun 'Howard Cosell' because he could tell you any sports stat," Carlo said. "He used to watch CNN and tell me how the war affected our tax dollars."
He attended college, cared for his younger brothers and sent them money when they went to college, she said.
"My son made his mistakes, but he never stopped dreaming," she said. Carlo has said Davis had ideas for starting his own business.
Hold kids tight: Ness offered Carlo advice he said he's learned: "The only thing I can tell you from experience is, hold your other children even tighter."
Reid turned and grinned at Davis' family as deputies led him out of of the courtroom.
Defense attorney Korey Leslie said he and Reid are looking at appeal options.
The case against alleged triggerman Coakley is still active. He has undergone a mental-health evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial. On Friday, Russell declined to discuss the results of that evaluation, but said a hearing will be scheduled, "at which point ... we expect that some action will be taken by the judge."
The two other co-defendants, Malik "Problem" Williams, 20, and Shonique Smith-Hanna, 26, previously pleaded guilty to robbery charges in exchange for having their murder charges dropped. On Friday, Williams was sentenced to 4½ to nine years in state prison, while Smith Hanna was sentenced to 2½ to five years in state prison.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.