Dickerson guilty in 2019 murder of Dover Area student, jury decides

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

A York County jury found DaiQuan Dickerson guilty of first-degree murder in the 2019 shooting death of Emily Shoemaker.

The verdict, which came down after two hours of deliberation, means an automatic life sentence for the 20-year-old Red Lion man. He was also convicted of attempted murder, aggravated assault and possession of a handgun without a permit.

DaiQuan Dickerson

Shoemaker was a 17-year-old Dover Area High School student whose life was cut short over a baggie of marijuana, according to testimony at Dickerson's 6-day-long trial.

“Emily was worth more than a half-ounce of marijuana,” District Attorney David Sunday said during his closing arguments Monday. “Don’t ever forget that.”

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The background: The shooting culminated from a series of events on Dec. 12, 2019.

Emily Shoemaker

According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, Dickerson, 20, was a marijuana supplier who roomed with Sterling Frantz, his friend, his pot dealer and now his co-defendant. Frantz, 23, set up a deal with Shoemaker, and they met in her car outside Frantz’s apartment building.

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Frantz was robbed by two boys with Shoemaker — Furhman Dennis and Tyrese Dugan. Frantz told Dickerson about it back in the apartment, and the two later left and drove around with Dickerson at the wheel; they came up on Shoemaker’s green Kia in the process, and they followed the Kia onto College Avenue where, in front of St. Patrick Church, Dickerson’s car veered into the opposite lane and came up alongside the Kia. As the cars exchanged leads with each other, gunfire erupted in front of William Penn Senior High School.

During his closing argument this week, Sunday said Shoemaker screamed and kept driving straight until her Kia slammed into a tree near Cookes House Lane. She died a short time later. Dickerson turned onto Pershing Avenue, picked up a friend at another location, and then drove back to the apartment.

“There could not possibly be a more proving conspiracy than the one that we have seen in this case,” Sunday said, calling arguments that Dickerson and Frantz conspired “preposterous.”

Daysha Shaffer, manager of Johnny's Raceway Eatery, in Dover Township, shares some promo photos from the restaurant, featuring Emily Shoemaker, top, and Hannah Snelbaker, bottom. Shoemaker, 17, was one of the first employees hired at Johnny's when it opened in October 2018. She died Thursday, Dec. 12, in York City, in a shooting that is still under investigation by police.

Dickerson painted as 'boss': To the jury, Sunday painted a picture of Dickerson as the “boss,” who made the call to go after Shoemaker after Frantz was robbed. He pointed to testimony showing how Frantz, injured and humiliated, didn’t leave on his own right after the robbery. Instead, he played video games for about 20 or 30 minutes until Dickerson came out of his room and had Frantz take a ride with him.

Replaying security video of the incident, Sunday refuted Dickerson’s testimony from Friday that Shoemaker had slammed on her brakes, around College and Lindberg Avenue, causing him to swerve over the dividing lines to avoid hitting the car. Sunday said the video doesn’t show that.

“It would be comically absurd to believe that the defendant in this case was break-checked and accidentally ended up in the oncoming lane of travel,” he said.

He argued Dickerson sped his car up alongside Shoemaker’s Kia, pulled a gun and opened fire, saying evidence from the investigation shows a gun was shot from inside his car. Shoemaker also argued Dickerson had one friend collect shell casings from inside his car and another friend get rid of the gun, based on testimony from the trial.

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Sunday closed by calling Dickerson "the cold-blooded shooter," noting that — of those who testified — he did not report hearing Shoemaker scream during the shooting.

'Fall guy': Holt, in his closing argument, put the responsibility on Frantz and possibly one of the boys in Shoemaker’s car.

“My guy’s the fall guy for everything. Everything,” Holt said.

He argued Frantz has lied repeatedly to police during the investigation and potentially lied during his testimony last week. Holt said Frantz had the motive to gun down Shoemaker after he was robbed, and he disputed the story that he calmed down after the robbery and let it go, in addition to other details from his account.

“He’s trying to pull a fast one on you guys,” he told the jury.

Dover High School junior Emily Shoemaker photographs a mock accident scene at the Dover Area High School Thursday, May 9, 2019. Local fire, ambulance and police volunteered for the event which reminds high school upperclassmen to be safe during prom season. Dover's prom in Saturday, May 11. Bill Kalina photo

Holt also alleged Frantz had slipped during a recorded police interview and accidentally demonstrated he’s either left-handed or fires guns with his left hand. That played into Holt’s theory that Frantz used his left hand to fire across his chest at Shoemaker’s Kia. He also asserted gunfire may have also come from the Kia, that the shots possibly weren’t limited to coming from Dickerson’s car.

“It’s more likely than not that Sterling Frantz was the shooter than my client. That’s way above reasonable doubt,” Holt said. “I didn’t have to prove that to you, but I pretty much did.”

Frantz faces the same charges as Dickerson in the case, though his case has not progressed since 2020. He said during the trial he’s hoping for some kind of consideration for his cooperation.

The jury will consider the evidence and the arguments when they begin deliberations, scheduled for Tuesday morning.

— Aimee Ambrose can be reached at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter @aimee_TYD.