Life sentence for 'selfish coward' York City murderer

  • Kameron Orr, found guilty of the August 2015 murder of Ruby Mercado, was sentenced to life in prison.
  • Orr maintains his innocence and intends of appealing the verdict, his attorney said.
Ruby Mercado took this selfie with her mother, Tina Sparks. York City Police said Mercado was fatally shot in her minivan on North Hartley Street on Aug. 28, 2015.

Tina Sparks spoke through tears as she addressed Kameron Orr, who murdered her daughter nearly two years ago.

"Kameron Orr should be six feet under. He was the evil one — not my child," she said.

Sparks later called Orr a "selfish coward." 

Orr, 26, of York City, shot and killed Ruby Mercado, 27, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, on Aug.  28, 2015.

On Thursday, Aug. 24, Common Pleas Judge Craig T. Trebilcock sentenced Orr to life in prison.

Orr was found guilty of first-degree murder in July. Life in prison is the mandatory sentence in Pennsylvania for an adult convicted of first-degree murder.

Just before his sentencing, Orr apologized to Mercado's friends and family for believing he was capable of killing Mercado.

Yolanda Shaw ties a balloon to a candle at the site where her sister, Ruby Mercado, was found murdered.
(John A. Pavoncello photo)

"I still love her and I always will," Orr said, before stating the he was not guilty of her murder.

More:Ex found guilty of murdering Ruby Mercado

'Beyond hurt': During Thursday's sentencing, both Sparks and Yolanda Shaw, Mercado's sister, spoke.

Sparks said she is "beyond hurt," about her daughter's death.

"This man had no right to play God with my child," she said.

She said she wanted to see her daughter be happy, but Mercado is no longer around to do that.

"I do miss her deeply, her kids miss her every day," Sparks said.

Mercado had two children. Her daughter is Orr's child.

"You should have been a better person for your child," Sparks said.

Shaw detailed the impact her sister's death had on her, saying that she lost her job because she lay in bed for a month following Mercado's death.

"He truly took my best friend," she said. Shaw told the court that she can't even listen to music anymore without stopping and crying. Mercado loved music, she said.

She recalled her sister calling her once when Orr was hurt. She said Mercado was afraid to lose Orr and for her daughter to be fatherless.

"How selfish of this man to take my sister's life," she said.

More:Police: Smoking gun in homicide of York mother could be merely a report away

Kameron Orr

Shooting: Orr 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.

During her opening statement in Orr's trial, deputy prosecutor Renee 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 Mercado's death, Orr texted her to come outside her home to talk with him, which she did, the prosecutor said.

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.

Orr's cellphone was found in Mercado's vehicle, and when he was arrested, a .357 Magnum revolver was found in his backpack, Franchi said.

A crime lab later determined the bullets that killed Mercado came from that .357 Magnum, Franchi said. Additionally, Mercado's DNA was found on the gun, she said.

In the days after Mercado's death, her family told The York Dispatch that she was trying to obtain a protection from abuse order against Orr.

After Thursday's sentencing, first assistant district attorney Jen Russell said the sentence was "just" considering what Orr had done to Mercado.

George Margetas, Orr's court-appointed defense attorney, reiterated that Orr maintains his innocence. He said Orr plans to appeal the verdict.

More:York man accused of homicide also facing assault charges

Second case: 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 Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.