Ex found guilty of murdering Ruby Mercado
Ruby Mercado moved on with her life after she and Kameron Orr broke up.
"But Mr. Orr could not let it go," deputy prosecutor Renee Franchi told jurors earlier this week. "In his mind, she had to pay."
They took about 3½ hours Friday afternoon to find Orr guilty of first-degree murder for Mercado's Aug. 28, 2015, shooting death, according to court-appointed defense attorney George Margetas.
Common Pleas Judge Craig T. Trebilcock set sentencing for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 24.
But sentencing is merely a formality in this case. In Pennsylvania, a first-degree murder conviction for an adult carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Six gunshots: Orr, 26, of York City, shot Mercado six times as she sat in her minivan in the 200 block of North Hartley Street. He was sitting in the passenger seat, and after the shooting simply got out of the van and walked away, police have said.
Known as "KO," he was the father of one of her two young children, according to her family, who said Mercado was 27 years old and about to start a new job.
During her opening statement, Franchi said Orr told Mercado, "You or someone in your family will feel these bullets" and "I don't give a f— about no (criminal) charge."
On the night of her death, Orr texted her to come outside of her home to talk with him, which she did, the prosecutor said.
"That's the last time Ruby's mother saw her alive," Franchi said.
Seen in van: They got into Mercado's van, and Mercado drove around the neighborhood. A neighbor twice saw both of them in the van, which Mercado was driving erratically.
"He said he'd never seen her drive like that before," Franchi told jurors.
The next time anyone saw Mercado, which was about 3 a.m. Aug. 29, 2015, she was dead inside her minivan, which was parked askew, engine running and lights on, the prosecutor said.
She'd been shot six times, at close range, in the face, head, chest, through her arms and in her abdomen, according to Franchi.
"These shots came from Ruby's right side," Franchi told jurors, and gunpowder residue was found all over the inside of her minivan.
Physical evidence: Orr's cellphone was found in Mercado's vehicle, and when he was arrested, a .357 Magnum revolver was found in his backpack, she said.
A crime lab later determined the bullets that killed Mercado came from that .357 Magnum, Franchi said.
Even more damning was the fact that Mercado's DNA was found on the gun, she said.
In the days after her death, Mercado's family told The York Dispatch that she was trying to obtain a protection from abuse order against Orr.
Margetas, during his opening statement, asked jurors to keep an open mind, and told them Orr loved Mercado.
"We're here ... because he says he didn't do it," Margetas said to the jury.
'Fair shake': After Friday's verdict, Margetas said prosecutors tried a good case.
"I believe Mr. Orr got a very fair shake," he said. "Everyone involved in this case treated it the way you want a case to be treated in America. I like to think I did a good job, too."
Orr maintains his innocence post-verdict as well, Margetas confirmed.
Neither Franchi nor first assistant district attorney Jen Russell could be reached for comment Friday evening. They prosecuted the case together.
Orr remains charged in a different shooting as well.
York City Police allege he was outside a home in the 700 block of Mason Avenue about 11:45 p.m. Aug. 1, 2015, when he pulled out a gun and fired multiple times at Willie Butler Jr.
Butler, who was 34 at the time, survived his wounds.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.