Finger­prints match ac­cused killer, cop says

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Alex Rose arose@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @arosedelco on Twit­ter

Finger­prints col­lected from a mur­der vic­tim’s stolen truck match those of ac­cused killer Ley­ron D. Johns.

ME­DIA >> Finger­prints col­lected from a mur­der vic­tim’s stolen truck match those of ac­cused killer Ley­ron D. Johns, ac­cord­ing to tes­ti­mony pro­vided in a bench trial by Delaware County De­tec­tive David McDon­ald Wed­nes­day.

McDon­ald, an ex­pert in fin­ger­print in­ves­ti­ga­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, said six finger­prints lifted from the 2005 Dodge pickup truck be­long­ing to 27-year-old Joseph Tor­res were mi­cro­scop­i­cally matched to Johns.

The prints were found on the driver-side rear door, pas­sen­ger­side rear door and a pickup bed cover, ac­cord­ing to McDon­ald. Two other prints on the driver­side front door and a pack of cig­a­rettes were matched to Tor­res.

Tor­res, 27, a union car­pen­ter and mar­ried fa­ther from West Chester, was found shot in the head be­hind the Mano’s Gulf sta­tion in the 900 block of Ker­lin Street on the night of July 27, 2015.

Paramedics trans­ported him to Crozer-Chester Med­i­cal Cen­ter, where he died July 28.

Po­lice de­vel­oped Johns and former code­fen­dant Ron­ald My­ers as sus­pects af­ter re­view­ing video sur­veil­lance from busi­nesses in the area.

My­ers, 23, en­tered an open guilty plea last month to third­de­gree mur­der, rob­bery, and con­spir­acy to de­liver a con­trolled sub­stance for his in­volve­ment in the case. He also tes­ti­fied against Johns Tues­day.

My­ers said the three men met near the crime scene with the in­tent of trans­act­ing a drug deal. Johns had al­legedly set the deal up and given My­ers a bot­tle of pills to de­liver to Tor­res.

My­ers said the trio made its way to the gas sta­tion park­ing lot, where Tor­res showed My­ers a pic­ture of Per­co­cet pills on his phone. Tor­res also showed the pic­ture to Johns, ac­cord­ing to


“Next thing I know, Ley­ron pulls the gun out,” said My­ers. “He has it to the back of (Tor­res’) head. Tor­res is mov­ing, I tells him if he got any­thing to give it up and Ley­ron shoots him.”

My­ers de­nied any prior knowl­edge that a rob­bery was go­ing to take place. He said Johns took Tor­res’ car keys out of his pocket and the two ran to the pickup, which Tor­res pointed out ear­lier.

My­ers said he drove the truck to an al­ley at Sec­ond and Union streets at Johns’ di­rec­tion, then walked back to Fifth Street with Johns, where they parted ways.

McDon­ald said there were no prints in the truck match­ing My­ers.

Veron­ica Miller, a foren­sic DNA sci­en­tist with the Penn­syl­va­nia State Po­lice, also tes­ti­fied that no DNA match­ing My­ers was found in the truck and that he could be ex­cluded from any us­able DNA she tested.

Miller said there was an in­suf­fi­cient amount of DNA on the truck’s door han­dles, steer­ing wheel and gear shift to make a de­fin­i­tive match to Johns, but nei­ther he nor male fam­ily mem­bers could not be ex­cluded from sam­ples taken from the steer­ing wheel and gear shift based on fur­ther Y-chro­mo­some test­ing.

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