York City homicide was over drug turf, prosecutor says

Liz Evans Scolforo

It was a turf dispute that caused a Philadelphia man to gun down York City resident Jazz Beady more than three years ago, a prosecutor told jurors during opening statements Monday at the murder trial of Kareem Lamar Todd.

"Drugs, guns and murder. That's what this case was about," chief deputy prosecutor David Maisch said. "Kareem Todd was not going to let anyone tell him (how to run his business)."

Kareem Todd

Todd was selling crack-cocaine in York City, and he had argued with Beady about whether he could sell crack in the area of the 600 block of West Princess Street, according to Maisch.

"He didn't like being told he couldn't sell there," the prosecutor said.

After arguing with Beady in front of 653 W. Princess St., Todd left, but he returned about 3:15 a.m. Sept. 13, 2013, Maisch said.

"Kareem Todd didn't let it go," he said, and argued with others who were on the porch before demanding Beady come back outside.

Beady came outside, saw Todd with a gun and tried to get back inside the home, Maisch said.

Shot went through door: That's when Todd fired through the front door and shot Beady in the head, he said.

After that, "all hell broke loose" and others began firing as well, according to Maisch, who said it was amazing no one else was injured. But Maisch stressed to jurors that only one person that night fired at Beady, and that person was Todd.

Within about an hour of Beady being shot, Todd and one of his associates fled York City, and Todd went into hiding in Philadelphia for about a year and a half, Maisch said.

"He was finally caught on Feb. 4, 2015," the prosecutor said. He was captured by members of the U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force, according to federal authorities.

Beady, 26, of Spring Garden Township, died in York Hospital Sept. 20, 2013, of a single gunshot wound to the head, York City Police have said.

Todd, 27, remains in York County Prison without bail, charged with first- and third-degree murder and being a convicted felon in illegal firearm possession.

'No rocket science': He is representing himself at trial, having fired defense attorney Rick Robinson. However, Robinson continues to sit next to Todd at the defense table to offer legal advice.

Todd told jurors during his opening statement that prosecution witnesses against him are all looking out for themselves, some to get leniency in their own criminal cases.

"It's no rocket science to it (as to) why I'm here," he said — it's because the prosecution convinced witnesses to say Todd committed the homicide.

"I'm innocent," Todd told the jury. "I shouldn't be here."

Trial is expected to resume Tuesday morning with more prosecution testimony.

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