The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 8, 2013

Homicide trial will open with visit to scene

EBENSBURG —  A Cambria County jury will be bused this morning to view the Oakhurst Homes parking lot in Johnstown where a New York City man was shot and killed 15 months ago.

Jury selection wrapped up Tuesday at the county courthouse for the homicide trial of 30-year-old Marquis Neal, the accused triggerman, and 21-year-old Anthony Harvey, who allegedly drove Neal to and from the parking lot in a minivan on Oct 1, 2011.

Both defendants, who are cousins from Philadelphia, face a general charge of criminal homicide – which includes charges ranging from manslaughter to first-degree murder – in the shooting-death of 21-year-old J-Quan Lewis.

Harvey is charged as Neal’s accomplice and could be convicted along with the alleged triggerman. If convicted of first-degree murder, the men would face a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.

Lewis had been living in Johnstown for several months prior to his death, authorities have said.

Lewis was fatally wounded around 2 p.m. in a daring daylight shooting in the parking lot. Police have said that Lewis was shot several times. Johnstown police were dispatched to the scene at 2:11 p.m.

City police and prosecutors have alleged that prior to the shooting – late the evening before – Harvey and Lewis had a confrontation at Edder’s Den, a bar in the Oakhurst neighborhood where Lewis was celebrating his 21st birthday.

The jury will be taken to view the scene along with the Edder’s Den area after lawyers in the case make opening statements when court reconvenes this morning. The trial is being held in the courtroom of the county-owned Central Park Complex in downtown Johnstown.

District Attorney Kelly Callihan is expected to make the prosecution’s opening. Johns­town attorney Jerome Kaharick, who represents Harvey, has said that he also will make a statement to the jury.

Attorneys Robert Davis Gleason and Paul Eckenrode, who represent Neal, said that they may defer making an opening until after the prosecution rests its case.

The trial is expected to last into next week.

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