Trial postponed in deadly Regal Cinemas shooting
Instead of jury selection beginning Monday, a man charged in a fatal movie theater shooting will wait another six months to go to trial.
Anu-Malik Johnson, 24, was originally set to stand trial this week on charges related to the 2019 slaying of Andre White Jr.. The case has now been rescheduled with a new date in September.
Johnson is charged first- and third-degree murder, attempted murder, along with counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and illegal possession of a firearm.
Johnson and another man, Jalen Bellaflores, sat for a screening of the movie “Queen & Slim” in a theater at the Regal Cinemas multiplex in the West Manchester Town Center the night of Dec. 2, 2019, West Manchester Township police said in charging documents.
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 also allegedly kept shooting as he ran for the exit.
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.
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 in November and took the death penalty off the table, citing results of a mitigation report and other factors.
The March 27 date to start the trial was also scheduled in November.
Then during a hearing held March 2, the case was postponed by several months, according to court documents.
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Johnson is now scheduled to go to trial beginning Sept. 11 in York County Court of Common Pleas before President Judge Maria Musti Cook, court documents show.
Bellaflores, 22, also faces charges in the case, including counts of hindering Johnson’s apprehension, obstructing law enforcement, conspiracy to obstruct law enforcement and tampering with evidence.
His next hearing is set for April 17, court documents show.
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And with Johnson’s trial pushed back, another homicide trial began in Judge Musti Cook’s court Monday, according to court documents.
Jerrod Scott, 36, of Dauphin County, is charged with counts of third-degree murder, drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver, illegal access of a device, theft, receiving stolen property and tampering with physical evidence.
Carroll Township Police allege Scott dealt fentanyl to 33-year-old Zack Savage, of Dillsburg, and a woman in June 2019. Savage passed out and died of an overdose.
— Reach Aimee Ambrose at email@example.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.