Prison for York man who ambushed, shot a Hanover man during pot deal

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A former Hanover man has pleaded guilty to shooting another person during what Hanover Borough Police described as a drug deal that was actually an ambush robbery.

Christopher Aaron Emmanuel Hill, 23, now of York, appeared in York County Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to the felonies of aggravated assault and carrying a firearm without a license, according to court records.

In exchange for his plea, three other felonies were dismissed, court records state — attempted first-degree murder, robbery and being a felon in illegal firearm possession.

Presiding Common Pleas Judge Amber A. Kraft sentenced Hill to a total of 7½ to 15 years in state prison, defense attorney Korey Leslie confirmed.

Hill shot Brandon Johnson, then 22 and of Gettysburg, about 4:15 a.m. July 26, 2018, while in the first block of Fulton Street, Hanover Police have said.

According to court documents, neighbors and other witnesses reported seeing and hearing four men arguing, then hearing a gunshot. 

They found Johnson with a bullet wound in the 400 block of East Walnut Street, which intersects with Fulton Street, court documents state.

Penn Township Police, who were assisting Hanover officers, detained Jordan Neibert a short time later, after a witness gave a description that matched his, according to police.

Christopher Aaron Emmanuel Hill

Officers found a red drawstring bag near where Neibert was arrested; a different witness later said he saw the bag being held by one of the four men who were arguing, documents state.

The witness said the four men "kept looking inside the bag," according to documents, after which a scuffle ensued.

That's when Hill allegedly fired a gun, striking Johnson in the abdomen, documents state.

Another witness said he saw two men run behind apartments in the 400 block of Broadway, according to police.

Officers later examined video surveillance footage from that apartment complex.

Ran into wall: In the video, Hill is seen leaving the apartment complex alone a few minutes before the shooting; six minutes later Hill and Neibert are seen running back toward the complex from the area of Fulton Street, according to court documents.

"(Hill) is running so fast that he runs into a concrete wall," documents state, which is when he can be seen with a drawstring bag he later gives to Neibert.

Video shows that Hill ran into the apartment complex and that Neibert ran toward Fulton Street, police said. 

A witness close to Hill told officers that when Hill left his apartment to buy marijuana from Johnson, he was carrying a revolver, police have said.

That witness also told officers that Hill was limping when he returned home, according to police.

Phone records: Police determined from Neibert's cellphone records that he and Hill agreed to buy pot from Johnson, documents state.

Johnson — who was treated for his gunshot wound at York Hospital — later confirmed for investigators that he had entered into a drug transaction and drove to the location with Neibert, according to police.

Johnson said that as he and Neibert were walking toward the area where they agreed to meet the buyer, he was stopped by a man he later identified as Hill in a photo lineup, documents state.

Christopher Aaron Emmanuel Hill

Hill told Johnson to "give him what he had," but when Johnson reached into his pocket for his phone, Hill shot him in the abdomen, documents state.

Another witness told officers that Hill later bragged on Facebook about shooting Johnson, according to police.

Accomplice died the next day: Neibert, 22, became unresponsive while in police custody and was taken to Hanover Hospital, where he died the next day — July 27, 2018, officials have said.

At the time, York County Coroner Pam Gay said an autopsy was performed and that her office was awaiting the results of toxicology testing.

On Monday, the coroner's office said Neibert's death was medical in nature, caused by a cardiac event.

In 2013, when Hill was 15 years old, he was charged as an adult in York City with robbery and related offenses, court records state.

The case was later moved to juvenile court, and police said that's where Hill was adjudicated guilty of robbery, making him a felon.

In Pennsylvania, felons are not permitted to own or even hold firearms.

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