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York teen's fatal shooting case moving to county court

Brandon Addeo
York Dispatch
Nicholas Strada

An 18-year-old York City man will now go before a county judge on charges relating to fatal shooting earlier this year.

Nicholas Samuel Strada had his case, involving the May shooting death of 41-year-old Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, bound over to York County's Court of Common Pleas. That came after a hearing Wednesday that included testimony from a witness and York City Police detective. 

Strada faces charges of criminal homicide, robbery, burglary and conspiracy involving a May 3 shooting at a home in the 300 block of Smyser Street in York City. 

Whispering Wind Bear Spirit was an indigenous person who identified as nonbinary, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which used "they" pronouns to describe them.

County senior deputy prosecutor Gregory Seiders called one of the home's residents, Oscar Fink, to the witness stand.

Fink testified that Strada and his brother, 20-year-old Ryan Craig Strada, were visiting his home to "chill and smoke weed" before the shooting occurred and were joined by four others: Oscar David Cook, 19, of Spring Garden Township; Michael Page Stewart, 22, of Harrisburg; Jaden Tyler Landis, 18, of the Manchester area; and Phillip Cornelius Sullivan, 18, of York Haven. 

More:Prosecutors upgrade murder charge for York Co. shooting suspect

More:York man to stand trial in shooting death of Whispering Wind Bear Spirit

Fink said Ryan Strada had lived in that same home with him for several months but moved out the week prior to the shooting. He said Nicholas Strada also visited the house in the past. 

During the visit, Fink said members of the group had gone "in and out" of the house several times.

At one point, Fink testified, he saw Snapchat messages from Ryan Strada, in which he allegedly claimed he was going to rob Fink because he suspected Fink of stealing marijuana from him. 

More:Four charged with robbery in relation to York City homicide; 2 still at large

Fink said he'd closed the home's door behind the Strada brothers after the last time they'd left, but someone from the group opened the door and both re-entered the home. Fink testified Nicholas Strada approached Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, who also lived in the home, in a hallway while Ryan Strada started to fight him.

"(Ryan Strada) put his hands up and swung at me," Fink testified. "I ducked, and we started tussling." 

Fink claimed that during his fight with Ryan Strada, he heard Nicholas Strada tell Whispering Wind Bear Spirit to "get down," and then heard one gunshot.

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After the shot was fired, Fink said he saw Whispering Wind Bear Spirit on the ground and testified that Nicholas Strada exclaimed "Oh (expletive), I shot her" before he and his brother left the building. 

York City Police Detective Daniel Kling testified that police recovered a .40 caliber handgun shell casing at the scene of the shooting and later recovered a .40 caliber handgun while executing  a search warrant at a house where Nicholas Strada was staying.

Kling said that police are having the gun tested for ballistics in a state crime lab to confirm that it's the weapon used to kill Whispering Wind Bear Spirit. 

Kling also testified that police have several clips from surveillance video from the surrounding area. One camera picked up the sound of the gunshot and several people running from the scene. 

On cross-examination from Nicholas Strada's attorney, Rick Robinson, Kling said that police weren't able to identify anyone pictured in the surveillance video, nor could they identify suspects' clothing. The suspects were instead identified through a state crime database. 

Nicholas Strada is to be arraigned by county Judge Craig T. Trebilcock on Sept. 20. Ryan Strada, Cook, Landis, Sullivan and Stewart also have pending cases on charges relating to the May 3 incident.