Judge gives York City drug-turf murderer maximum sentence

Liz Evans Scolforo

A Philadelphia man must spend at least two decades locked up for murdering York City resident Jazz Beady in 2013 over a drug-turf dispute.

Kareem Lamar Todd, 27, was sentenced Friday morning in York County Court to 23½ to 47 years in state prison — 20 to 40 years for third-degree murder and the rest for carrying a firearm without a license, according to court records.

Kareem Todd

It was the maximum possible sentence for each charge, chief deputy prosecutor David Maisch has said.

Presiding Common Pleas Judge Richard K. Renn ordered the two sentences run consecutively, according to the York County Clerk of Courts office.

Todd will get credit for the time he's already served, court records state.

Jurors took less than 90 minutes on Nov. 17 to convict Todd of third-degree murder for Beady's slaying. The jury acquitted him of first-degree murder, which would have meant an automatic life sentence without parole.

The background: It was a turf dispute over drugs that caused Todd to shoot Beady through a door about 3:15 a.m. Sept. 13, 2013, Maisch told jurors during his opening statement at Todd's November trial.

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

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 (by Beady)," the prosecutor said.

Witness: Man argued with, then killed York City man 2 years ago

After arguing with Beady in front of 653 W. Princess St., Todd left, retrieved a gun and returned, according to Maisch.

"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 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 hurt.

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Within about an hour of Beady being shot, Todd fled York City and 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 at York Hospital Sept. 20, 2013, of a single gunshot wound to the head, York City Police have said.

Todd was supposed to have been tried separately on a charge of being a convicted felon in illegal firearm possession, but that charge was dismissed at his sentencing hearing Friday, court records state.

Own attorney: Todd acted as his own attorney for his murder trial, which is called  "pro se" representation.

He told jurors during trial that prosecution witnesses against him were 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, and argued prosecution witnesses lied.

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

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