'Multiple families lost people today': Jury convicts man in murder of local high schooler

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

One by one, each member of the jury agreed: DaiQuan Dickerson of Red Lion shot and killed — murdered — a Dover girl on a December evening in 2019.

Following close to 2½ hours of deliberations Tuesday, the jury found Dickerson, 20, guilty on all of the counts against him on the seventh day of his trial in York County Common Pleas Court.

District Attorney Dave Sunday said he’s pleased with the verdict, while noting this wasn’t a moment to celebrate.

“I’m proud of the work that we did. The DA’s office, the York City Police Department, were fighting for the life of Emily Shoemaker and for her family,” Sunday said. “At the same time, multiple families lost people today, and there is no winner when we have tragedies like this.”

Dickerson was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and carrying a firearm without a license.

DaiQuan Dickerson

Dickerson faces an automatic sentence of life in prison on the murder charge alone. He’s due back in court near the end of May for sentencing.

Investigators alleged Dickerson drove a car up on 17-year-old Emily Shoemaker’s car and opened fire while his co-defendant, Sterling Frantz, 23, of York, rode with him around 5 p.m. Dec. 12, 2019. Shoemaker died a short time later. The shooting came a couple of hours after she and two boys allegedly robbed Frantz of marijuana. Frantz is also charged with murder in the case.

Members of Shoemaker’s family, who attended each day of the trial, gasped and sobbed as the jury gave its decision. Dickerson’s family, who also watched the trial each day, was absent during the verdict.

Emily Shoemaker

Dickerson’s attorney, Farley Holt, was “extremely disappointed” with the jury’s decision to believe Dickerson pulled the trigger. Holt had presented a case that alleged Frantz was the shooter, and that a gun was also fired from Shoemaker’s car.

“It’s my belief that I showed overwhelmingly, through the evidence in this case, my client clearly wasn’t the person who possessed the gun or the person who fired the gun,” Holt said.

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The trial’s outcome followed testimony and arguments that zeroed in on the relationships between Dickerson and Frantz, and between Frantz and Shoemaker, as well as the events leading up to the shooting. Prosecutors entered about 180 exhibits into evidence, while the defense entered 35.

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 roomed with Frantz at an apartment along North Newberry Street — a marijuana supplier staying with his dealer, according to their testimony. On the afternoon of Dec. 12, Frantz got into Shoemaker’s green Kia Soul outside his building to sell her a half-ounce of pot as part of a deal set up through SnapChat. Before cash could be exchanged, a boy Frantz alleged was Furhman Dennis grabbed him from the back seat, while another boy, allegedly Tyrese Dugan, held his feet as they robbed him of his weed.

The Kia took off, and Frantz went back into the apartment, where he complained to Dickerson about the robbery in Dickerson’s room. About a half-hour later, Dickerson came out of his room and asked Frantz to take a ride with him, and they drove into town. Sunday alleged Dickerson was angry over the robbery.

The two then came across Shoemaker’s Kia and began following it onto College Avenue around Court Street. Security camera video showed Dickerson's car veering into the opposite lane and coming up alongside Shoemaker’s car near the intersection of Beaver Street as they approached William Penn Senior High School.

Frantz said Dickerson pulled a gun as he drove and fired it out the passenger side window, multiple times, at Shoemaker’s car. Bullet shells and debris were collected from the school.

Sterling Frantz, 20, of York City was charged with homicide and attempted homicide in connection with the Dec. 12, 2019 shooting death of 17-year-old Emily Shoemaker.

Shoemaker was shot and kept driving forward until crashing her car into a tree near Cookes House Lane. She died from her injuries a short time later. Dennis and Dugan, who were also in the car, were injured during the incident.

Dickerson turned off onto Pershing Avenue and kept driving through the city until he picked up a friend, a boy named Jujuan Watts, and the group went back to Frantz’s apartment. Watts allegedly collected shell casings out of the car’s backseat, and Frantz said another friend showed up whom Dickerson had get rid of the gun.

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Dickerson denied shooting Shoemaker as he contested Frantz’s account during his testimony last Friday. He said Frantz had him follow Shoemaker’s car, and that Frantz had the gun. Dickerson said he’d dropped his phone and a blunt during the traffic entanglement. As he leaned over to pick his stuff up, Dickerson said, he heard the gunshots and Frantz firing while yelling that people in the Kia were shooting at them.

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

Dickerson also denied he ever owned or had a gun.

After the verdict, Judge Gregory Snyder scheduled Dickerson’s sentencing hearing for May 27. Pennsylvania state law calls for a minimum of life in prison without parole for a first-degree murder conviction. Snyder noted sentencing terms would have to be set on the other charges.

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Frantz remains charged with counts of first- and third-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Before testifying against Dickerson, he said in court that he hoped for some kind of consideration from the district attorney's office.

Caylah Webb

Sunday said his office hasn’t made any decisions on Frantz’s case yet.

Court documents indicate the case has been on hold since he was arraigned into Common Pleas in March 2020.

Also charged in the case is Caylah Webb, 23, who was Dickerson’s girlfriend at the time of the shooting. She’s accused of disposing of the clothes Dickerson and Frantz wore the night of the shooting.

Webb is charged with hindering prosecution, obstruction of law enforcement and tampering with evidence.

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