York City backyard homicide: Name of 15-year-old alleged killer now public
It was a 15-year-old York City youth who fatally shot Michael Quinones III during a robbery last summer, according to testimony from his co-defendant's preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Luis Antonio Rosado, known as "Rondo," remains in York County Prison without bail, charged as an adult with homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and carrying a firearm without a license.
Court documents that were previously sealed, including Rosado's probable-cause affidavit, indicate at least one witness saw the teen with Quinones moments before gunfire erupted — and nearby security video showed Rosado with a gun minutes beforehand.
Rosado, of the 600 block of West Locust Street, was arrested about a week after the homicide.
Quinones, 19, was fatally shot in the backyard of his home in the 500 block of West Princess Street at 8:12 p.m. June 23, 2020, according to York County Coroner Pam Gay, who has ruled the death a homicide.
He suffered multiple gunshot wounds, the coroner has said.
Case was sealed: Rosado's case was sealed from public view after his July 1, 2020, arrest because his co-defendant, Roddrick Shornel Battle, had not yet been apprehended, according to Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office.
York City Police announced Rosado's arrest at the time but didn't identify him by name.
Battle, 19, of the 1800 block of Monroe Street in West York, also remains in York County Prison without bail, charged with the same offenses. He was captured in mid-August 2020, police have said.
Senior deputy prosecutor Lewis Reagan said that although the investigation into the homicide is still active, at this point there are no other arrests pending.
Battle appeared Wednesday before District Judge Joel Toluba for his preliminary hearing in the case, after which Toluba determined enough evidence exists for him to stand trial in York County Court.
The district judge then set Battle's formal county-court arraignment for Feb. 8, according to court records.
The triggerman? York City acting Detective First Class Andy Baez testified at the preliminary hearing that Battle admitted to being in the yard when Quinones was gunned down — and that Battle named Rosado as the triggerman.
According to Baez, Battle said he closed his eyes during the robbery of Quinones.
"When he opened his eyes he saw Mr. Rosado … shoot the victim multiple times," the detective testified.
Police found Quinones dead in his back yard, with his pockets turned out and his cellphone and possibly wallet missing, Baez said.
Two spent shell casings were recovered at the scene, he said, one .40-caliber, the other a .380. It's possible both could have been ejected from the same gun, according to the detective.
In Pennsylvania, juvenile court matters are generally shielded from public scrutiny. But when juveniles are charged as adults, their court documents and hearings are matters of public record.
The allegations: According to charging documents filed by Baez, Quinones was hanging around with Battle and Rosado that night.
All three of them were recorded on video surveillance inside and at Eby's store at the corner of West Princess and West streets, and both Battle and Rosado were caught on video displaying handguns, documents allege.
Quinones, Battle and Rosado left the store together and walked to Quinones' yard, police said.
A short time later, gunshots could be heard, police said.
Surveillance video from Newton Avenue recorded Battle and Rosado running from the victim's yard — with Battle holding a handgun in his right hand and Rosado holding something at his side, charging documents allege.
Police allege the pair shot Quinones as they were robbing him of his cash and cellphone.
Charging documents state that Battle and Rosado were suspects in an Aug. 8, 2019, strong-arm robbery for which only Rosado was charged.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.