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Who fired the shot? Guilty plea to lesser charges in York City homicide of Luis Inoa

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
A man was found shot to death at S. Duke and South Streets early in the morning Sunday, April 15, 2018.  John A. Pavoncello photo

A York City man initially accused of murder has pleaded guilty to lesser offenses and will be released from York County Prison after spending 18 months locked up.

Brandon "Sticky" DeJesus, 30, of Smyser Street, pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and being a person not to possess a firearm.

He was sentenced to 11½ to 23 months in county prison and given credit for the 18½ months he'd been in prison awaiting the resolution of his case.

DeJesus had been accused of fatally shooting Luis "Pily" Inoa during an April 15, 2018, street shooting at the corner of South Duke and South streets in York City.

Police have said DeJesus and another man, Chayanne Ramirez, both fired and that ballistics testing determined a stray bullet fired by Ramirez killed Inoa.

Ramirez and Inoa were friends, and Ramirez was trying to protect Inoa, his attorney has said.

Defense attorney Korey Leslie said there's no physical evidence in the case to show that DeJesus fired at all that day.

Brandon "Sticky" DeJesus

"He was put in jail for 18 months for a homicide that he didn't commit," Leslie told The York Dispatch. "The evidence showed that the initial witness lied and that ... Chayanne Ramirez is the one who fired that shot that killed Luis Inoa."

After being released from York County Prison, DeJesus will be transported to Dauphin County, his attorney said. DeJesus has an active 2018 criminal case there accusing him of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

"He's just anxious to get home to his children and move forward," Leslie said.

Not a felon: The charge of being a person not to possess a firearm to which DeJesus pleaded guilty is a misdemeanor — not a felony charge, and that's because he's not a felon, according to the defense attorney.

Luis "Pily" Inoa

Rather, he has a misdemeanor conviction that was deemed to be related to domestic violence, Leslie said. Pennsylvania law forbids both felons and those convicted of certain misdemeanors from possessing firearms.

In exchange for his guilty plea, charges of first- and third-degree murder were dropped, according to court records.

Ramirez was trying to protect his friend Inoa, but instead he accidentally shot Inoa in the torso, killing him, officials have said.

Inoa, 27, of Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, also suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder, according to police. 

Shooter's sentence: Ramirez, 30, of York City, pleaded guilty Oct. 28 to being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm, which is a first-degree felony. A 2014 drug-dealing conviction makes him a felon, court records state.

In exchange for his plea, he was sentenced to four to 10 years in state prison.

A homicide charge originally lodged against Ramirez was withdrawn in October 2018, court records state.

Chayanne Ramirez

That was less than a week after he testified against DeJesus at the man's preliminary hearing, claiming DeJesus fired a shotgun at Inoa and how he, Ramirez, hid behind a knee-high porch wall and fired back.

Investigators recovered a backpack at the scene that held a shotgun police have said was used used by DeJesus, according to Ramirez's defense attorney.

Inoa's family members have described him as kindhearted and generous — a family man who loved his three daughters.

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