Dropped cellphone leads to arrest in US killing
Dropped cellphone leads to arrest in US killing

Dropped cellphone leads to arrest in US killing

A Mon Valley teen dropped his iPhone after fatally shooting a 47-year-old man this March – and that, combined with surveillance footage of the crime, led to his arrest this week, Allegheny County Police said.

Sanchez Spence, 18, of McKeesport, remained in Allegheny County Jail on Friday after being charged in the March 1 killing of Robert Joyner, court records show.

Police said multiple individuals shot at Joyner from a vacant lot near the 3100 block of Versailles Avenue around noon that day, according to a criminal complaint in the case.

Joyner, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, was taken to a local hospital around noon March 1 and died there that afternoon, the complaint said.

At the scene in March, county police found multiple bullet casings, including:

— Six, spent .45 caliber casings at the vacant lot,

— Nine spent 9mm casings in the grass behind a Versailles Avenue home,

— Five spent 9mm casings in the rear of a nearby Boyd Street garage, and

— Four spent 9mm casings at a second Boyd Street property.

Police also recovered an iPhone with a blue case, which they said was positioned face-up, lying in the dirt in a Boyd Streetside yard, the complaint said.

Video footage showed the man later identified as Spence firing a weapon at 12.07pm near the sidewalk where first responders found Joyner, the complaint said.

The video then shows Spence running from the scene, the complaint said. After jumping into a side-yard, he stumbled to the ground, extending his arms toward the ground to break his fall.

This area is where police found the iPhone, which they traced to Spence, the complaint said.

Other individuals, including authorities and Spence’s stepmother, identified Spence in the video footage, the complaint said. Police obtained footage from a nearby home camera and an Amazon delivery truck, among others.

Police charged Spence on Monday with criminal homicide, two counts each of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person, and one count each of tampering with evidence, criminal conspiracy, and carrying a firearm without a license and as a minor, court records show. He was arrested on Thursday.

Spence’s attorney was not listed Friday afternoon in the court record.

District Judge Robert Paul Dzvonick denied Spence bail during his arraignment Downtown early on Friday morning, court records show.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct 27. – The Tribune-Review, Greensburg/Tribune News Service

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