Short jail term in York shooting that paralyzed victim
Prosecutors offered a plea agreement to a York City teen involved in a shooting that paralyzed another young man because the victim hasn't cooperated with investigators, a ranking prosecutor said.
Anthon D. Reece Jr., 17, and Omar Sharif Jamison-Garcia approached a parked car in the 300 block of East King Street about 11 p.m. Oct. 30 that held Miquez Johnson and a passenger, according to York City Police.
Police said both Reece and Jamison-Garcia approached the car with handguns drawn.
Jamison-Garcia tapped on the driver-side window, where Johnson was sitting, and Reece walked to the passenger side of the vehicle, police said.
That's when Johnson started to drive away at the urging of his passenger, police said.
Both men opened fire on Johnson, who was struck with one bullet, police said.
The round hit him in the back and passed through his chest, damaging both of his lungs and paralyzing him from the waist down, according to court documents.
Guilty plea: Reece appeared in York County Court on Wednesday afternoon and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. His other charges, including attempted first-degree murder, were dropped as part of his plea agreement.
Pursuant to that agreement, he was sentenced to a year minus a day to two years minus two days in York County Prison. He has been locked up since Jan. 27 and will receive credit for time served.
First assistant district attorney Jennifer Russell told presiding Common Pleas Judge Richard K. Renn that "the commonwealth has witness issues in this case."
Renn eventually accepted Reece's plea but insisted the teen explain what he did that makes him guilty of conspiring to commit aggravated assault.
"I approached the vehicle with a gun," Reece said, then added, "I was there when it happened."
The conspiracy: Renn said those admissions weren't good enough and again asked Reece what he'd done that made him guilty.
"I agreed to be there with him," Reece ventured, referring to Jamison-Garcia.
At that point, Renn said he would not accept the plea if Reece didn't allocute.
That's when Reece stated he and Jamison-Garcia agreed beforehand that "one of us was gonna assault the victim, your honor."
Renn then accepted the plea and imposed sentence.
Outside the courtroom, Russell told The York Dispatch that Johnson, now 20, has not been cooperative with the prosecution of his attackers.
The case remains active against Jamison-Garcia, now 21.
Russell said no agreement has been made at this point between Jamison-Garcia and prosecutors.
No prior record: Reece's Harrisburg-based defense attorney, Bryan McQuillan, said the teen has no prior record.
"The case was at a standstill because their ... victim did not wish to proceed," he said.
McQuillan called that reluctance to testify "a sign of the times" that "speaks to the troubles" York City is facing.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.