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Police: York City man fatally stabbed, robbed his uncle

Liz Evans Scolforo
505-5429/@LizScolforoYD
  • Police said Ronald Carter fatally stabbed his 66-year-old uncle in the chest while robbing the man.
  • The victim couldn't fight back very well because one of his legs had been amputated, police said.
  • Police allege Carter used the money to buy crack cocaine.

A York City man is now in prison without bail, accused of fatally stabbing his uncle while robbing the 66-year-old amputee of cash he later spent on crack cocaine.

Ronald Lee Carter, 56, of 27 S. Hartley St., is charged with homicide and robbery in the Sept. 2 death of Terry Leonard, according to court records.

Ronald Lee Carter

Leonard, who had previously had his left leg amputated, suffered a fatal stab wound to the chest inside his room at 601 W. King St., which is a boarding house, according to charging documents filed by York City Detective Tim Shermeyer.

Those documents state Carter, Leonard and a third person were smoking crack together in Leonard's room the night of Sept. 1 and into the next morning.

Once the cocaine was smoked up, Carter asked his uncle for money to buy more, but Leonard refused him, police allege.

Carter reached over and grabbed Leonard's wallet, which was next to Leonard on a sofa cushion, documents state.

Struggle for wallet: Leonard tried to get his wallet back, but because of his amputation "was unable to put up much of a fight," police said.

During the struggle, Carter pulled a knife from the waistband of his pants and stabbed his uncle in the chest, documents allege.

The third person in the room fled, running down the stairs of the boarding house, and was knocked down the steps when Carter ran past him, according to police.

Other witnesses reported seeing Carter in the area of the boarding house and in his uncle's room around that time, documents allege.

Ronald Lee Carter

Before going to his uncle's room, Carter had been at a home on South West Street, where he'd told people he intended to ask Leonard for money, then left saying he was going to his uncle's to return a phone to him, according to police.

'Acting nervous': When he returned to the South West Street apartment, he was "acting very nervous, pacing and checking out the window," documents state. He then pulled $100 cash and between $160 and $200 worth of crack cocaine from a bag, police allege, and he and others present smoked the crack.

Shortly after noon Sept. 2, Carter was at the same South West Street apartment when he received a phone call telling him his uncle had died, police said.

Charging documents allege that when he got off the phone, Carter said, "Someone killed my uncle. They stabbed him right in the heart."

But at that point, the cause of Leonard's death hadn't been released and only the killer would have known the victim was stabbed in the chest, according to Lt. Troy Bankert, who supervises the York City detective bureau.

York City 'suspicious death' ruled homicide

One of the people at the apartment told detectives that Carter — after having been initially questioned by authorities — asked him not to tell police he'd been at his uncle's room, documents state.

Missing knife: The South West Street witnesses also told detectives they checked their apartment and realized a knife was missing from their kitchen.

They also said the only person with access to that knife would have been Carter, documents allege.

Carter was arraigned Friday morning by District Judge Joel Toluba and denied bail.

Carter's lengthy criminal history includes charges of theft and burglary.

It is unclear if he has retained an attorney.

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