Fingerprints match accused killer, cop says
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.