Jury

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - LO­CAL NEWS -

shot slay­ing of Jor­dan Scott, and the wound­ing of a sec­ond teenager who had been walk­ing with Scott, at Chain Street and Black­berry Al­ley.

While pros­e­cu­tors con­tend Free­man was the trig­ger­man and Wil­son was the per­son who sup­plied the mur­der weapon and was the get­away driver, pre­vi­ous tes­ti­mony and court pa­pers re­vealed that the two men fin­gered each other as the shooter when they gave state­ments to de­tec­tives.

In seek­ing sep­a­rate tri­als, de­fense lawyers main­tained that be­cause each man iden­ti­fied the other as the shooter, it set the stage for an “an­tag­o­nis­tic” de­fense. The in­tro­duc­tion at trial of Wil­son’s state­ments against Free­man “will cause in­cur­able prej­u­dice” to Free­man, ar­gued de­fense lawyer John I. McMa­hon Jr., who rep­re­sents Free­man.

Mean­while, lawyers for Wil­son main­tained Free­man, in ad­di­tion to nam­ing Wil­son as the shooter, penned a let­ter to Wil­son in the county jail ask­ing Wil­son to “take this on d (sic) chin,” sug­gest­ing Wil­son plead guilty to al­low Free­man to walk away from the mur­der charges.

Wil­son, who is rep­re­sented by de­fense lawyer A. Charles Peruto Jr., main­tained the let­ter im­pli­cated him in the homi­cide and with Free­man sit­ting next to him at the same trial he can­not cross-ex­am­ine Free­man about the state­ments Free­man made to po­lice or about the con­tents of the let­ter.

But Deputy District At­tor­ney Sa­man­tha Cauff­man ar­gued ap­pro­pri­ate redac­tions to the de­fen­dants’ state­ments for trial “can cure any po­ten­tial vi­o­la­tions and thus not re­quir­ing sev­er­ance.” Cauff­man and co-pros­e­cu­tor Rod­er­ick Fancher ar­gued mul­ti­ple tri­als would re­sult in fur­ther de­lays and that no prej­u­dice to the de­fen­dants would re­sult from a con­sol­i­da­tion of the cases for trial.

Wil­son and Free­man each face charges of fir­stand third-de­gree mur­der, con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der, ag­gra­vated as­sault, per­sons not to pos­sess firearms and pos­sess­ing in­stru­ments of crime in con­nec­tion with the fa­tal shoot­ing.

If con­victed of first-de­gree mur­der, an in­ten­tional killing, the men face manda­tory life prison terms. A con­vic­tion of third-de­gree mur­der, a killing com­mit­ted with mal­ice, car­ries a pos­si­ble max­i­mum sen­tence of 20 to 40 years in prison.

Wil­son, of the first block of Zummo Way, and Free­man, of the first block of East Spruce Street, re­main in the county jail with­out bail while await­ing trial.

Ac­cord­ing to pre­vi­ous tes­ti­mony and court pa­pers, Free­man claimed Wil­son told him, “We have to get them boys” and wanted Free­man to be the one to shoot. How­ever, Free­man told de­tec­tives he re­fused and that Wil­son ex­ited a gray Dodge Charger they were trav­el­ing in and shot Scott and the sec­ond teenager.

But in his state­ments to de­tec­tives Wil­son “was adamant” that Free­man was re­spon­si­ble for the fa­tal shoot­ing, de­tec­tives al­leged in an ar­rest af­fi­davit.

Tes­ti­mony and court doc­u­ments re­vealed that a third per­son who had been in the ve­hi­cle with Wil­son and Free­man told de­tec­tives that Free­man was the shooter.

Pros­e­cu­tors, in court pa­pers, hinted at a mo­tive for the shoot­ing.

“Wil­son and Free­man are a part of the same group of friends from Nor­ris­town that are al­leged to have been feud­ing with Jor­dan Scott and oth­ers as­so­ci­ated from Pottstown over sev­eral days lead­ing up to July 6, 2017,” Cauff­man and Fancher al­leged in court pa­pers.

“It is al­leged that Wil­liam Wil­son en­cour­aged his friends to set­tle the dis­pute through vi­o­lent means, pro­vided trans­porta­tion to Pottstown on a pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sion to do so, and pro­vided firearms to his younger friends, in­clud­ing Isa­iah Free­man,” pros­e­cu­tors added.

Scott, of the 500 block of High Street in Nor­ris­town’s East End, was pro­nounced dead at 7:28 p.m. at a lo­cal hospi­tal. An au­topsy de­ter­mined Scott died as a re­sult of mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds and two pro­jec­tiles were re­moved from the teenager’s body, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

A sec­ond ju­ve­nile male who had been walk­ing with Scott on Chain Street ap­proach­ing Black­berry Al­ley at the time of the shoot­ing also suf­fered a gun­shot wound to the right an­kle and was treated for his wound at Paoli Hospi­tal, court doc­u­ments in­di­cate.

De­tec­tives re­lied on video sur­veil­lance in the area of the fa­tal shoot­ing, cell­phone anal­y­sis and eye­wit­ness ac­counts to iden­tify Free­man and Wil­son as sus­pects.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mined Wil­son was driv­ing a gray 2013 Dodge Charger with Free­man in the front pas­sen­ger seat when they saw the two vic­tims walk­ing in the vicin­ity of Oak and Chain Streets, ac­cord­ing to de­tec­tives. Wil­son drove to an al­ley be­tween Chain and Ge­orge streets and stopped the car, ac­cord­ing to wit­ness ac­counts con­tained in court doc­u­ments.

Wil­son al­legedly pro­vided a gun to Free­man.

Free­man, also known as “Young Bull Zay,” ex­ited the ve­hi­cle, pulled the hood to his gray hooded sweat­shirt over his head, walked to Black­berry Al­ley and peeked around the cor­ner of a build­ing, ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit. When the two vic­tims walked by Free­man al­legedly opened fire, strik­ing both Scott and the sec­ond ju­ve­nile.

Free­man then ran back to Wil­son’s wait­ing ve­hi­cle and al­legedly stated, “I got him, I got him, I hit him,” and “I shot him all in here” while point­ing to his chest, ac­cord­ing to wit­ness ac­counts con­tained in the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

Wil­son al­legedly drove Free­man away from the scene.

With the help of au­to­matic li­cense plate read­ers and other video sur­veil­lance the Dodge Charger even­tu­ally was traced to Wil­son, court doc­u­ments in­di­cate. Cell­phone anal­y­sis also placed Wil­son’s phone in the vicin­ity of the fa­tal shoot­ing at the time it oc­curred, de­tec­tives al­leged.

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