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Probation for woman who helped York City murderer flee
A woman who police said helped a wanted York City murderer flee from police has avoided prison and instead will serve probation.
Karina DeJesus, 25, of Lancaster, entered an Alford plea Wednesday in York County Court to one count of hindering the apprehension of a wanted subject.
She pleaded guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor version of the charge, despite having initially faced a third-degree felony version of the same offense. As part of her negotiated plea agreement, she was sentenced to a year of probation.
An Alford plea is similar to a no-contest plea, in that the defendant does not admit guilt, according to first assistant district attorney Jennifer Russell. But she said people generally plead no contest, or nolo contendere, when they can't remember committing their crimes because of intoxication or mental-health issues, for example.
Defendants generally enter Alford pleas when they simply want the benefit of a plea agreement, Russell said.
Ever since DeJesus and Jeffrey Allen Reid Jr. were captured in Virginia, DeJesus has maintained she went with him because she felt she had no choice, according to the prosecutor.
"I don't believe that," Russell said, adding that if she did, she would have dropped the hindering apprehension charge. "But I do believe they had an abusive relationship."
Still, Russell, said, there were mitigating circumstances that weighed in DeJesus' favor. Perhaps most importantly, she was willing to testify against Reid at his trial earlier this year, although prosecutors later decided her testimony wasn't needed.
Defiant killer: Reid, 29, who is the father of at least one of DeJesus' children, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being convicted in March of first- and second-degree murder, robbery and related offenses.
After being sentenced for the July 19, 2014, robbery and murder of Dashaun Davis, Reid turned to Davis' grieving family in the courtroom and said, "F— all y'all."
His street name is "Sincere," according to police.
Davis, 23, was sitting in a parked car around the corner from his Juniper Street home when he was robbed and fatally shot by Reid and other members of Reid's robbery crew.
After the murder, Reid and DeJesus fled the state, with DeJesus leaving her three children behind, police said at the time.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Service captured the couple in Richmond, Virginia, nine days after the murder.
Police have said that before she ran off with Reid, DeJesus sent him money through Western Union the day after Davis was killed, despite knowing he was a wanted fugitive.
Russell said DeJesus had nothing to do with the murder itself.
DeJesus declined comment Wednesday as she left the courtroom.
She was late for her own plea hearing, prompting presiding Common Pleas Judge Harry M. Ness to say, "We wouldn't want to interfere with her schedule. There's only a dozen of us in here (waiting on her)."
During the hearing, Ness noted he was aware DeJesus provided assistance to police after being captured.
"That's why I'm OK with this deal," he said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.