Jury acquits York City twins of attempted murder
A jury has acquitted two York City brothers of attempted murder and felony assault for a shootout that erupted behind a Manchester Township motel two summers ago.
The 24-year-old twins, Kristopher and Jordan Ray, each were convicted of two counts of reckless endangerment, according to attorney George Margetas, who represents Jordan Ray.
Kristopher Ray also was convicted of being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm, Margetas said. The brothers await sentencing.
Jurors sat through a week of trial, then spent roughly four hours deliberating before reaching a verdict about 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, according to the attorney.
The jury's verdict means the twins will avoid lengthy prison sentences.
"(Kristopher Ray) probably would have been looking at 15 years, bare minimum," Margetas said. Kristopher Ray was represented by attorney Farley Holt, whose law firm employs Margetas.
Prison time: Jordan Ray could possibly be sentenced to a year in prison but could also receive a shorter county-prison sentence, according to Margetas.
Margetas said Holt argued to jurors that members of the Rays' group were protecting themselves.
"We had a good self-defense/defense of others claim," he said.
Margetas said Jordan Ray "was just sitting in the car" and didn't even fire a gun.
"To this day, we still don't know who fired the first shot," he said of the shootout.
A third co-defendant, Khafre Johnson, 24, also of York City, remains charged with attempted murder and related offenses. His next scheduled court appearance is a Feb. 8 pretrial conference, according to court records.
The background: Northern York County Regional Police said Johnson, the Rays and a fourth man known only as "Mouse" went to the parking lot of the Econo Lodge at 222 Arsenal Road about 9 p.m. Aug. 20, 2016, to buy a gun from Myannh Legette.
The sequence of events that led to the shooting was set in motion the day before, when Kristopher Ray and another man, Chance Harrington, realized they were sleeping with the same pregnant woman, according to court documents.
They were angry at each other at first, police said, but then they talked it out and realized they had something in common: Ray wanted a gun, and Harrington had a friend who was selling one — Legette.
Police said Legette agreed to sell Kristopher Ray a 9 mm handgun for between $225 and $250, court documents state.
But gunfire erupted during the deal, and Legette suffered gunshot wounds to the leg and back, officials said.
Police later tracked down Jordan Ray, who told them he had gotten his grandmother's white van, rounded up Johnson and Mouse — who had a handgun each and 50 bullets between them — and headed to the motel, according to police.
Bullets 'started flying': He told officers he didn't see much because bullets started flying right after they pulled up in the back parking lot and he ducked for cover as Johnson and Mouse opened fire, documents state. He told police he asked Johnson and Mouse why they started shooting, and they told him Legette was reaching for a gun.
Police say surveillance video shows the vehicles pulling away while a man named Justin Martinez returned fire as others outside ran back toward the hotel.
Officers found five bullet holes in the walls of the motel building, according to documents. The Monday after the shooting, bullet holes were visible in vehicles parked in the lot, and more appeared evident in the pavement around the scene.
In the days after the shooting, Legette remained in critical condition and had to undergo at least two surgeries at York Hospital, according to police.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.