Judge: York City man Devon Moore didn't intend for cousin to be shot

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

A York City man charged in the shooting death of his cousin will stand trial in the York County Court of Common Pleas, even though it appears it was another man who fired the fatal shots.

Devon K. Moore, 26, of the 400 block of West King Street, allegedly got into a shootout in October with Marvin L. Butler, whose last known address was in the 300 block of West King Street.

Moore's cousin, Solomon Moore, was killed in the shootout. Devon Moore was also injured in the shooting and was still in a wheelchair when he appeared in court Thursday, Jan. 2, for a preliminary hearing.

"It certainly wasn't Mr. Moore's intention for his cousin to be shot," said District Judge Joel N. Toluba at the end of the hearing.

But Toluba said that given the evidence, he would recommend the case be argued before a Common Pleas judge.

Devon Moore is charged with homicide and attempted homicide.

He'd also been charged with carrying a firearm without a license, but prosecutors dropped that charge after investigators found that Moore did have a license to carry a firearm at the time of the shooting, first deputy district attorney Seth Bortner said.

Bortner called York City Police Detective Tiffany Pitts, the lead investigator in the case, to testify about a home surveillance video that captured the shooting.

Solomon Moore

The video showed Devon Moore and Solomon Moore walking down West King Street when three other people arrived, Pitts said.

One of the three people was Butler, she said.

Pitts said someone fired a gun and that the muzzle flash from the shot was visible on the video.

When Toluba asked Pitts if she could tell who fired that first shot, Pitts said the shooter was Devon Moore.

Butler appeared to fire back at Devon Moore, who then fell to the ground and seemed to crawl behind a nearby vehicle, Pitts said.

Solomon Moore also fell to the ground before getting back up and running away, and Butler continued firing at him, Pitts said, before Butler turned to exchange more gunfire with Devon Moore.

Police have said that when they arrived, they found Solomon Moore dead at the southeast corner of West King and South Hartley streets.

Prosecutors did not show the video at the hearing.

Devon K. Moore

The prosecution argued that if Devon Moore hadn't fired that first shot, the ensuing gunfight with Butler wouldn't have happened and Solomon Moore wouldn't have been killed.

"We will acknowledge this is not a typical theory on which criminal homicide is charged," Bortner said, but he added that there is legal precedent for such a charge.

Devon Moore's attorney, Ronald J. Gross, said the charges against his client were excessive and that, at worst, the situation warranted a charge of aggravated assault or attempted aggravated assault because it was unclear whether Butler was injured.

Butler is on the lam, but once caught he'll face charges of homicide, attempted homicide and being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm, according to charging documents.

Moore's formal arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 7 before Common Pleas Judge Maria M. Cook.

Moore is being held without bail at York County Prison.

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