York City murder suspect's case moving forward to trial

Brandon Addeo
York Dispatch
Tyrell Jerome Dotson

The suspect in a fatal York City shooting this summer faces a potential trial at the county level.

Tyrell Jerome Dotson, 33, who recently resided in Springettsbury Township, will face felony charges including criminal homicide in York County's Court of Common Pleas in the June 20 fatal shooting of 33-year-old York City resident Willmar Santos-Batista, a judge ruled on Friday. 

Dotson had a preliminary hearing in Magisterial District Judge Joel N. Toluba's court Friday morning.

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At least a dozen people, including members of Santos-Batista's family, attended the hearing, some wearing shirts with his name and photo. Members of the York County District Attorney's Office spoke to family before and after the hearing, through a Spanish language interpreter, to explain what was happening in the courtroom.

Dotson's girlfriend — Kimberly Christine Metz, 31, also of Springettsbury Township — also appeared in court to waive her preliminary hearing. She's charged with with one count of felony hindering apprehension.

During Dotson's hearing, York City Police Detective Daniel Craven testified about the shooting and his department's investigation.

Kimberly Christine Metz

Surveillance video recorded Santos-Batista's car driving on West Mason Avenue near South West Street just before the shooting. He pulled his car over when a woman walking on the sidewalk, identified by police as Metz, approached his vehicle, Craven testified.

While he and Metz were interacting, Dotson allegedly ran up behind the vehicle and fired a 9mm handgun into the back of the car, the detective said; Police heard as many as 16 gunshots when reviewing the surveillance footage, and Craven testified that no shots were fired from Santos-Batista's vehicle. Santos-Batista suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head. 

Prosecutors added three new charges for Dotson at Friday's hearing: a felony for being a felon in possession of a firearm; a felony for discharging a firearm into an occupied structure; and a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment.

The latter two charges were added because some of the shots Dotson allegedly fired struck an occupied home near the shooting scene, senior deputy Prosecutor Gregory Seiders said. No injuries were reported.

Both Dotson and Metz will be arraigned at the county courthouse on Sept. 13.