Prison for drifter who shot romantic rival in Springettsbury home

Liz Evans Scolforo
  • James Stevens IV shot his romantic rival while on the run for a state parole violation, police said.
  • As a convicted felon, Stevens is prohibited by law from owning guns.
  • His victim, Kareem Bertrand, suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder, police said.

A York-area man has been ordered to state prison for shooting a romantic rival inside a Springettsbury Township home last fall.

James Stevens IV

James H. Stevens IV, 33, pleaded guilty Monday in York County Court to aggravated assault and was sentenced to 2½ to five years in prison and ordered to pay court costs and restitution, according to court records. A charge of being a convicted felon in illegal possession of a firearm was dismissed.

He owes $1,248 in restitution, records state.

Springettsbury Township Police said Stevens went to the home of his former girlfriend, Heather Boll, on East 11th Avenue about 1 a.m. Oct. 18.

Boll and her boyfriend at the time, 31-year-old Kareem Bertrand, were lying in bed when they heard Stevens tap on the window, according to court documents. Bertrand told police it's not uncommon for people to tap on the window to be let in, documents state.

Bertrand said he heard a voice he recognized as Stevens' say, "I just want to talk to you," according to documents.

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Bertrand said he told Stevens, "Hold on, I'm coming," then put on pants and started to walk toward the kitchen, but Boll had apparently already let Stevens inside, police said.

Shot in kitchen: As Bertrand walked into the kitchen, Stevens pulled out a handgun and shot him, documents state. Stevens then ran out the back door, possibly firing a second time, according to court documents.

Bertrand suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of his chest, which exited the back of his left shoulder, according to documents. The victim called 911, then had Boll drive him to Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and later released, police said.

"Bertrand stated that he has had confrontations with Stevens in the past over his relationship with Boll," court documents state.

Police said they asked the U.S. Marshals Service to track down Stevens and arrest him because he didn't have a fixed address and because marshals were already looking for Stevens on a state parole violation for an unrelated case.

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Couch-surfing: At the time, Stevens was couch-surfing at the homes of people he knows, police confirmed.

Members of the marshals service's fugitive task force arrested Stevens without incident Oct. 22 at the Waterford Apartments off Cape Horn Road in York Township, according to a marshals service news release.

Springettsbury Township Police said it appears Stevens was staying with someone there.

Stevens was convicted of several felony drug-dealing offenses between 1999 and 2011 and was convicted of burglary — which also is a felony — in 2011, according to court documents. Felons are prohibited from owning, possessing or even handling firearms.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.