York man found guilty of manslaughter in retrial
A man previously found guilty of third-degree murder in the killing of a York City man has been convicted on a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, according to online court records.
In 2011, Anthony Kareem Hayes, 31, was convicted of fatally stabbing Kenneth C. Ramos Jr. in the neck during a fight in September 2009.
In March 2015, Hayes was granted a retrial, and Thursday, a jury found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, online court records state.
Common Pleas Judge Richard K. Renn sentenced Hayes to 2½ to five years in prison, with credit for any time served. Previously Hayes was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.
New sentence: Seamus Dubbs, Hayes' attorney, said that Renn's sentencing was to run consecutively with a previous conviction where Hayes was sentenced to one to two years in prison.
Even with that, it seems as though Hayes will be able to get out soon, having already served seven years in prison, Dubbs said Thursday night.
“He should have a complete time-served sentence,” he said.
However, Hayes has another trial pending, and even if he could get out soon, he would have to post bail on his latest charges, according to his attorney.
His latest charges stem from an incident at the prison, Dubbs said. Online court records show that Hayes would have to post $25,000 bail to be released.
The background: During the first trial, the prosecution said both men were members of the Valentines, a local subset of the Bloods. Hayes killed 20-year-old Ramos, the leader of the gang, to take over the Valentines because he believed Ramos was too demanding and controlling, the prosecution claimed.
Hayes was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison in February 2012.
However, the alleged gang involvement is part of the reason Hayes will get a new trial.
In his ruling on Hayes' post-conviction relief petition, Renn, who also presided over the murder trial, agreed that the jury should have been instructed on how to consider testimony of Hayes' alleged gang involvement, namely that jurors might have considered gang involvement when reaching the guilty verdict.
"Clearly the gang issue was relevant and material to the issue of motive, if nothing else," Renn wrote. "However, our award of a new trial is based solely on the absence of a request for and the giving of a limiting instruction with respect to the gang evidence."
Renn wrote that Hayes' trial attorney should have asked for the jury to be given more direction about the gang testimony, but Renn also took some of the blame.
"While we have found trial counsel constitutionally ineffective for failing to request a limiting instruction ... it is this court which has the obligation to accurately and completely instruct the jury," Renn wrote.
Retrial: At the retrial, Dubbs said he believed jurors might have been swayed because some of the witness statements differed from the previous trial.
Dubbs said one of the witnesses couldn't give much detail onto what happened on that day, and the other had changed his story.
“I think they did take their time,” he said.
His attorney said they were hoping to overturn all charges.
“(Hayes) still maintains his innocence,” Dubbs said.
He said he has not discussed the possibility of appealing the latest conviction.
"It's a little early on to say if he wants to go through that or not," he said.
Hayes is scheduled to go to trial at 9 a.m. March 5 for his latest charges, according to online court records.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.