Man convicted in I-83 body-dumping case
A York County jury took about 90 minutes Friday to convict a New York City man of helping his drug-dealer buddy dispose of homicide victim Shannon Lamar Martin's body.
York County District Attorney Tom Kearney said Luis Felix Quinones worked with Kevin Brightful to put Martin's body in a trash can and dump it Aug. 12 in a remote area along Interstate 83 in Springfield Township.
"We will be asking for a lengthy sentence," the DA said. "I'm delighted with the verdict. The family was very disturbed by the manner in which Mr. Martin's body was treated."
Helping Kearney secure the conviction against Quinones was Brightful — the man who fatally shot Martin, according to the DA.
Quinones, 29, of Brooklyn, "is a drug dealer who came here from New York City to sell heroin," Kearney said, and was with Brightful when Martin was killed.
The verdict: Quinones was convicted of abuse of a corpse, carrying a firearm without a license, conspiracy to commit abuse of a corpse, heroin possession with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to defense attorney Rick Robinson.
Quinones was acquitted of tampering with evidence, carrying instruments of crime and being a felon in illegal firearm possession, Robinson said, adding that the illegal firearm possession charge could have netted his client four to eight years in state prison.
"I think the jury did a great job," he said. "They arrived at a verdict I can live with."
Sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 28, Robinson said.
Cooperating: A first-degree murder charge against Brightful will be dropped, according to Kearney. That's not simply because Brightful is cooperating with the prosecutions of his co-defendants.
"We'd drop them anyway, because (the evidence) is not there," Kearney said. "This was a home invasion by Mr. Martin, who possessed a gun. So when he was shot by Kevin Brightful, Brightful was justified in doing it."
Brightful, 28, remains in York County Prison and is still facing a number of charges. Kearney said the plan is for Brightful to plead guilty to being a felon in illegal gun possession, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
His case will remain pending until after a third co-defendant's case has been resolved, the district attorney said.
Filled in details: Brightful's defense attorney, Heather Reiner, said he's remorseful about Martin's death and provided state police with critical information in multiple detailed interviews.
"He put all the pieces of the puzzle together for them to complete their investigation," she said. "He filled in every detail for them, and then all his information proved to be true. It helped police build a case against (Quinones) and led them to charge a third man."
Kearney said the version of events given by Brightful and Quinones didn't match, so investigators had to verify Brightful's account. He said state police did an outstanding job getting to the bottom of what happened.
The background: Court documents indicate Martin, 36, of York City, was armed with a .40-caliber handgun when he committed a home invasion that was supposed to be a robbery. It happened overnight Aug. 11.
Martin believed Brightful had a large sum of cash and marijuana and planned to rob him, documents state.
Instead, Martin scuffled with Quinones in the living room of 34 E. Cottage Place and fired one shot, documents state. Brightful then fatally shot him, Kearney said.
"They're not going to call the cops because they're drug dealers," the DA said.
Instead, they put Martin's body in a trash can, drove it to a wooded area off Seaks Run Road and dumped it there, state police have said. Someone driving on Interstate 83 spotted the body the morning of Aug. 12 and called 911, police said.
Brightful confessed to police Aug. 17 after state troopers tracked him down.
Third arrest: Investigators in January arrested a third man in the case, Terrence Lavelle Wintermyers.
He drove Martin to Brightful's place, knowing Martin intended to rob the man at gunpoint, documents state.
Kearney said Wintermyers then acted as lookout for Martin.
After Martin's death, his family told police that Wintermyers feigned "excessive and premature" concern, adding he called local hospitals and prisons pretending to search for Martin, documents state.
Wintermyers, 32, of York, remains free on $100,000 bail, charged with third-degree murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and related offenses.
Even though he and Martin were allegedly robbery co-conspirators, he is legally responsible for Martin's death under the state's transferred-intent law.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.