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Feds indict York man for city robbery that ended in gunfire
Sixteen months after Shyhiem McDowell was shot in the head while being robbed in York City, the stepfather of the alleged shooter has been charged in federal court for his purported role in the crime.
McDowell, then 18 years old, was critically wounded in the Jan. 9, 2016, shooting in the rear yard of a home in the 300 block of Girard Avenue.
Days later, York City Police charged then-16-year-old Hydiea Banks of Prospect Street in York City with his attempted homicide. At this point, she remains charged as an adult.
On Monday, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced that a federal grand jury on April 19 indicted Anthony Donnell Johnson on charges of robbery and using a firearm in commission of a crime of violence.
On April 26, a federal magistrate ordered Johnson be detained while awaiting trial, stating Johnson is a danger to the community and a flight risk.
Johnson, 49, of 384 S. Albemarle St. in York City, remains in York County Prison on his federal charges as well as for York County cases in which he's charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, drug dealing and retail theft, according to court records. His York County conspiracy to commit robbery charge also is for the McDowell robbery.
The allegations: Charging documents filed in York County Court by York City Police Detective George Ripley indicate investigators focused on Banks and Johnson after viewing surveillance video from a nearby neighborhood store and a neighbor, which showed the victim, Johnson and Banks walking to the area where McDowell was shot moments later.
Johnson confessed that he and Banks "formed a plan to rob Shyhiem McDowell," charging documents state. While "freely admitting" he was part of the robbery, he denied being the person who shot McDowell, according to documents.
Johnson also told detectives that Banks took McDowell's iPhone during the robbery, police allege.
The federal indictment against Johnson provides few details and doesn't name McDowell or Banks.
The case against Banks, who is charged in York County with attempted homicide, remains active, according to Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office.
Adult or juvenile court? King said Banks' attorney is trying to get her case "decertified," meaning moved to juvenile court. He said a decertification hearing has not yet been held.
King has declined to talk publicly about McDowell's current condition, "out of respect for his family." Police at the time called the victim's head wound life-threatening.
Johnson's attorney in his federal case, David Ehrhard, could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.
Federal court records state Johnson pleaded not guilty to his charges on April 25.
Anti-violence initiative: Dawn Mayko, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg, said Johnson was charged federally as part of the office's ongoing Violent Crime Reduction Partnership. The purpose of the initiative is to combat the spread of violent crime and focus on catching and prosecuting those who commit violent crimes with firearms, she said.
York City officers and members of the U.S. Marshals Service tracked down Banks four days after the shooting, in a home in the 400 block of West Philadelphia Street, police said.
She resisted arrest, according to police, who said there was a gun within her reach.
That gun is believed to be the weapon used to shoot McDowell, and it was seized, police said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.