Trial date set in deadly Regal Cinemas shooting

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

A trial date is set for March for a man accused of shooting and killing another man and injuring a woman at a local movie theater.

Anu-Malik Johnson, 23, is charged with first- and third-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and illegal possession of a firearm in connection with the incident that claimed Andre White Jr.’s life three years ago.

Johnson and another man, Jalen Bellaflores, sat for a screening of “Queen & Slim” in a theater at the Regal Cinemas multiplex in the West Manchester Town Center the night of Dec. 2, 2019, according to charging documents.

Anu-Malik Johnson

White and a woman entered later, and as they made their way to seats in the back row, White exchanged words with Johnson, witnesses told investigators.

Johnson and Bellaflores then changed seats, moving closer to White.

A short time after that, witnesses say Bellaflores got up and walked toward the exit.

Johnson moved next, and investigators allege he walked to the back row and opened fire on White, shooting him five times.

Johnson allegedly kept shooting as he ran for the exit.

Homicide victim Andre White Jr.

Four other people were in the theater at the time. One of them was a woman who was shot in the shoulder and had another bullet graze her cheek, charging documents show.

Police said security camera images showed Johnson at the theater complex, and witness descriptions of him matched the images.

Johnson was charged a few days later.

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The York County District Attorney’s Office filed paperwork in March 2020 to seek the death penalty if a jury convicted Johnson of murder. The office reversed course last month and took the death penalty off the table, citing the results of a mitigation report and other factors.

A West Manchester Township police cruiser parks outside the Regal Cinemas 13 in the West Manchester Town Center on Dec. 2, 2019. One person was shot and killed in a theater, and another was injured.

Johnson’s attorney told The York Dispatch at the time he believed the case would be ready to go to trial in March.

That date is now set.

York County Court of Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook granted a request on Nov. 4 to have the jury trial begin March 27, according to court records.

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As Johnson’s case moves forward, Bellaflores also faces charges for having a role in the incident.

He faces counts of hindering Johnson’s apprehension, obstructing law enforcement, conspiracy to obstruct law enforcement and tampering with evidence.

He's scheduled to appear for a hearing in his case Jan. 5, court records show.

— Reach Aimee Ambrose at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.