West Maple St. homicide a romantic rivalry, police say

Liz Evans Scolforo

Dion Beard Jr. and Collin McGlen Smith Jr. clashed for about two years before Beard allegedly gunned down Smith on West Maple Street in broad daylight last month, according to testimony.

The two men were at odds over a woman, according to York City Police Detective Tim Shermeyer, who testified Friday at Beard's preliminary hearing.

Police investigate a fatal shooting in the 200 block of West Maple Street Friday, April 14, 2017. Bill Kalina photo

York City Police previously said the men had a problem with each other that had recently escalated, but they didn't give specifics.

At the close of the hearing, District Judge Ron Haskell Jr. determined enough evidence exists for Beard to stand trial. He forwarded the case to York County Court and set Beard's formal court arraignment for June 23.

Beard, 27, of 1220 Wellington St., remains in York County Prison without bail, charged with homicide and five counts of reckless endangerment.

His defense attorney, Brian Perry, said that although it's very early  in the case, he anticipates presenting a self-defense argument for Beard.

"Obviously there were problems between these two that escalated over a long period of time," Perry said.

Family members of both Beard and "CJ" Smith, 22, of Girard Avenue, packed the courtroom Friday afternoon.

Dion Beard

Throughout his preliminary hearing, Beard shook uncontrollably and kept his head hung.

"I think he's just overwhelmed. He's never been in trouble before," Perry said afterward. "This is a young man from a good family with no criminal record."

Emotions high: At the close of the hearing, Beard didn't look up at his family or anyone as he was escorted back to a holding cell by county sheriff's deputies.

"F— you, b—! Rot in hell," one person yelled.

Shermeyer, under questioning by senior deputy prosecutor RJ Fisher, testified police recovered 12 spent .40-caliber shell casings from the crime scene and also obtained surveillance footage from the nearby corner store.

The detective said Beard legally owns two .40-caliber handguns.

Under cross-examination by Perry, Shermeyer confirmed Beard has a concealed weapons permit.

Police investigate a fatal shooting in the 200 block of West Maple Street Friday, April 14, 2017. Bill Kalina photo

The allegations: Police allege Beard fatally shot Smith about 1:20 p.m. April 14 in the 200 block of West Maple Street.

Beard left his grandmother's house and walked to a corner grocery store, where he bought milk, according to charging documents.

Surveillance footage shows Beard leaving the store and walking west, police said.

Police: York City killer bought milk, shot rival

Police allege he spotted Smith and shot him repeatedly.

Seconds later, Beard can be seen on video quickly walking eastbound in front of the corner grocery store, putting his hand in his right pocket, with a large bulge visible, documents allege.

Still carrying the milk he'd just bought, Beard was seen walking into the home of his grandmother a few houses away after the shooting, police allege.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.