Prosecutor: Argument over nephew led to York City homicide

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Robert Lee Johnson II

Robert Lee Johnson II killed L.A. Rasul Truvillion in 2018 during an argument over their 10-year-old nephew, a prosecutor said during opening statements in Johnson's murder trial.

Trial began Monday, Sept. 9, for Johnson, 25, of York City. If convicted of first-degree murder, he will receive life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Senior deputy prosecutor Jennifer Tobias told jurors during her opening statement that Johnson and Truvillion share a sister, and that their sister has a 10-year-old son.

The two men were supposed to have a fistfight over some issue regarding their nephew, Tobias said; instead, Johnson brought a gun to the fight and fired at Truvillion three times.

The first shot was a misfire, the prosecutor told jurors, and the second shot struck a tire of a parked car. Johnson's third shot fatally struck Truvillion, according to Tobias.

Homicide victim L.A. Truvillion

Trial witnesses are expected to testify that Johnson threatened Truvillion prior to the homicide, Tobias told jurors. She is prosecuting the case along with chief deputy prosecutor John Hamme.

Tobias also said that although the gun that killed Truvillion was never found, ballistics evidence will tie Johnson to the killing.

Police responding to the shooting didn't find a gun in Truvillion's possession, the prosecutor said.

The background: Truvillion, 25, of York City, was shot about 5:50 p.m. May 22, 2018, near the corner of Smyser and North Penn streets, York City Police have said.

He was rushed to York Hospital by ambulance, where he was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m., according to police.

A stuffed bear and candles create a makeshift memorial for L.A. Rasul Truvillion, 25, who was shot and killed on Smyser Street in York, Tuesday evening. Authorities have arrested Robert Johnson II, 24, of York in connection to the murder. Wednesday, May 23, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

An autopsy revealed Truvillion's death was caused by a single gunshot wound that went through his right arm and chest, according to the York County Coroner's Office. 

Johnson was seen running from the scene with a handgun, according to court documents.

At the time of the shooting, Johnson was free on $5,000 unsecured bail in a DUI and child-endangerment case stemming from an incident in southern York County, according to online court records.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.