Man accused in York City drug deal homicide faces trial
One of three people accused in a York City drug deal turned homicide faces trial.
On Thursday, Nov. 15, District Judge Joel Toluba determined there was enough evidence for Zane Kenneth Senft to go to trial in the shooting death of 24-year-old Tyler Owens.
York City Police have said Senft, 22, Myannh "Milo" Legette, 22, and Rahmeire Bradshaw, 20, met with Owens in the 100 block of South Richland Avenue in the early morning hours of Oct. 7 to buy marijuana. Owens was fatally shot in the process, according to authorities.
Owens told police at the scene that the last number in his phone was the person who shot him, charging documents state. Police have said that number belonged to Senft.
Owens later died from his injuries at York Hospital.
On Thursday, York City Police Detective Andy Baez testified during Senft's preliminary hearing that all communications to set up the drug deal with Owens was done by Legette, through Senft's phone.
Testimony: Baez, the only witness to testify, said that Legette had been talking to a person on Facebook messenger in an attempt to set up a drug deal.
Legette was unwilling to pick up the person to facilitate the drug deal with Owens, so that person forwarded Owens' contact info to Legette so the two could do the deal directly, according to the detective.
Legette also asked the person if Owens carried a gun, but that person assured Legette that Owens did not, Baez said.
The deal was to pick up 2 ounces of marijuana from Owens for $360, according to Baez.
Surveillance footage from the Turkey Hill, where Owens was shot, showed Owens at an ATM a few minutes before the shooting, Baez testified.
In the video Senft is looking around before walking to the passenger side of a vehicle, the detective said.
That vehicle, Baez said, was later found to be Senft's. Police found it located behind a home in Dover shortly after the shooting, Baez said.
Officers on the scene found Owens after 1:30 a.m., and he said he had been shot in the back, according to the detective.
Searching Owens' phone, police found Owens and Senft had texted each other before the shooting, Baez said. He said Legette, who did not have a phone, was using Senft's to talk to Owens.
After: Police spoke to a witness who was with the three earlier that night, and Baez said that person told them Legette wanted to shoot someone.
That person told authorities Legette was "acting gangster" before the shooting, according to the detective. Baez also said that person heard the group talk of purchasing marijuana.
Senft was arrested at Bradshaw's home, and police found marijuana on him, Baez testified. No marijuana was found on Owens, he said.
Baez said investigators searched Senft's Facebook account and found that he had spoken with someone, saying something happened and he would go away for a long time.
The detective said Senft's car had gunshot residue in it.
Not a robbery: Senft's defense attorney Ron Gross argued that Senft's charges should be dismissed.
He said Senft was at the ATM to get money to buy the marijuana. Baez said the money Senft took out was $150.
"We have not heard any evidence whatsoever to support a robbery," he said, adding that Senft was there to buy weed.
He mentioned that it is a "wise idea" for someone to look around when using an ATM that late at night in York City.
First assistant district attorney Jen Russell argued that because Senft's phone was used, and his car also was used, he's just as responsible for Owens' death.
She also noted that Legette used Senft's phone to find out if Owen had a gun.
"They are advised the victim is someone who doesn't carry a firearm," she said.
In addition to homicide, charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery were added for Senft. Those charges were already filed for his co-defendants.
Senft's formal arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 21.
Co-defendants: Legette was arrested in New Jersey last week, according to authorities. He has not yet been extradited to York County, online court records state.
A witness told police that Senft said Legette fatally shot Owens and Bradshaw was the driver of the car, court documents state.
Legette was spotted at a Royal Farms with Senft and Bradshaw about 20 minutes after the shooting, officials said.
Senft was arrested the day of Owens' shooting, and Bradshaw turned himself in about a week later, according to authorities.
Initially Legette was a "person of interest," to whom police wanted to talk before they obtained a warrant for his arrest.
Both Senft and Bradshaw remain in York County Prison without bail.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.