Maximum sentence handed down for 2014 York City murder of Dashaun Davis
A York City man must spend at least two decades in prison for his role in the 2014 murder of Dashaun Davis during a botched robbery.
Naquan "Squeeze" Coakley was sentenced in York County Court on Monday to 20 to 40 years in state prison by Common Pleas Judge Harry M. Ness, according to court records.
Coakley, 29, pleaded no contest to third-degree murder on Feb. 11, according to his defense attorney, Suzanne Smith.
But Smith noted that while it was a no contest plea because Coakley's memory of what happened is vague, it basically also amounted to a guilty-but-mentally-ill plea because of his mental-health issues. No contest pleas have the same effect as guilty pleas.
Coakley has been locked up for nearly seven years on his murder charges, she said, and for about two of those years he had been deemed not competent to stand trial. He was given credit for the time he's already served, Smith said.
It's unclear who fired the shot that killed Davis, Smith said — Coakley or robbery-crew ringleader Jeffrey "Sincere" Reid Jr., who is serving more than a life sentence.
Reid maintains Coakley pulled the trigger, but Smith noted that evidence shows it was his gun that killed Davis, that shell casings from the gun were found in Reid's car and that a witness saw Reid firing the gun earlier that night during another robbery attempt.
Coakley was disappointed with the sentence, Smith said. It's the maximum possible punishment in Pennsylvania for third-degree murder.
"He knew he wasn't walking out but thought, based on his involvement and the mental-health issues going on, he would get less than the 20- to 40-year sentence," Smith said.
It was an open plea, meaning it was up to the judge to determine the appropriate punishment. Ness noted in court that the state prison system should place Coakley in a setting where his ongoing mental-health needs can be met, according to Smith.
Coakley's other charges, including first- and second-degree murder and robbery, were dropped in exchange for his plea.
The background: Coakley was held at Torrance State Hospital in Westmoreland County for more than 2½ years after it was determined in July 2016 that he wasn't mentally competent to stand trial.
On March 26, 2019, Ness issued a ruling stating Coakley had become competent to stand trial.
York City Police have said Coakley and robbery-crew ringleader Reid, along with others, went on a failed robbery spree the night of July 19, 2014.
Reid was convicted of first-degree murder, robbery and related offenses. He is currently serving a life sentence plus 24 to 48 years.
Known on the streets as "Sincere," Reid unleashed a torrent of profanity at the jurors who convicted him in March 2016.
Co-defendants Malik "Problem" Williams and Shonique Smith-Hanna pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Williams was sentenced to 4½ to nine years in prison; Smith-Hanna was sentenced to 30 to 60 months in prison, court records state.
Williams is Coakley's younger brother.
Three failed holdups: Reid's group first lurked outside a bar in York City's east end, where they intended to lure out a customer and rob him, according to trial testimony. But the man, who lives next door to the bar, thwarted the attempt by slamming his front door in Williams' face.
Then Reid, Williams and Coakley went to the home of a woman on the west end of York City who testified she considered Reid one of her best friends. That attempt also failed because they were unable to kick down her door, according to testimony.
All four members of the crew ended up back at Reid's home, where Reid reloaded his handgun so they could go back out and try to commit a successful robbery, according to testimony.
Davis, 23, was parked in the 200 block of Union Street, just around the corner from his Juniper Street home, and was sitting in his car listening to music when Reid and Coakley walked up to rob him, according to prosecutors.
Testimony at Reid's trial indicated Davis was shot when he tried to grab for the gun, and that Reid ordered Coakley to execute Davis because the victim recognized Reid and called him by his street name. They then stole his cellphone, prosecutors have said.
Hard worker: Davis was a gifted athlete who loved to play basketball and who attended Clemson University, his mother has said. He played ball for William Penn Senior High School, graduating in 2008.
"Dashaun was an amazing child," Chamaine Carlo has said. "You put a ball in his hand, and it was like magic."
He worked three jobs at one time and had ideas to start small businesses, according to Carlo.
He cared for his younger brothers and sent them money when they went to college, she has said.
"My family prayed day and night for justice," Carlo told The York Dispatch after Reid's conviction.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.