Life sentence in shooting at 2014 nonviolence concert

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A Strawberry Mansion man was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison Monday in a shooting at a 2014 nonviolence concert at Philadelphia’s Dell Music Center.

The Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury of nine women and three men deliberated 2-1/2 hours before finding 24-year-old William Greene guilty of second-degree murder, robbery and three gun charges in the death of Alexis Guevara, 20.

“I got nothing to say,” replied Greene when Judge Sandy L.V. Byrd asked if he wished to speak before sentencing.

In addition to the life sentence, which in Pennsylvania carries no possibility of parole, Byrd tacked on a consecutive 8-1/2 to 17 years for the firearm counts.

Greene’s mother and other relatives wept as he was escorted from the courtroom.

“We love you,” they called out.

“Love you too. Don’t worry about it,” replied Greene.

Guevara’s mother, Erlanda Quinde, 41, of Nashville, Tenn., also wept as she described the loss of her second oldest child.

“When they took his life away, they took part of my life away too,” Quinde told the judge.

“There’s precious little I can say to easy your pain,” Byrd said. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

The trial, which began last Tuesday, ended on a doubly tragic note. Guevara’s childhood friend Marcell Lawrence, 22, who testified about the events leading to the deadly confrontation, was found dead last Friday of an accidental drug overdose – two days after he was on the witness stand.

The fatal shooting at the Aug. 13, 2014 “Philly Support Philly Peace on the Streets” hip hop concert was as senseless as the random violence the concert protested.

Trial witnesses testified that the incident began about 8:30 p.m. in the parking lot outside the Dell’s main entrance, where people who could not get inside were milling about.

Among them were Lawrence and Guevara, who were talking to some girls when Lawrence said he noticed a man sitting on the hood of Guevara’s black Dodge Avenger.

Lawrence said he ordered the man – identified as Eric Jamison —  off the car. Jamison protested the tenor of Lawrence order and the two began arguing and preparing for a fistfight.

At that point, Lawrence continued, a man he identified as Greene walked up, pulled out a pistol and held it a foot from his head.

“OK, gold watch, run your pockets,” the gunman ordered, according to Lawrence.

As Jamison moved to riffle his pockets, Lawrence said, Guevara punched Greene and knocked him backward causing the gun to discharge.

Lawrence said Greene recovered and shot twice more as Guevara tried to run and one shot hit his aorta, the large artery from the heart. Lawrence said Guevara lost consciousness in his arms waiting for medics to arrive.

Jamison, 27, testified last Wednesday under an agreement with the District Attorney’s Office in which he pleaded guilty last year to third-degree murder. Jamison is set to be sentenced Tuesday.

In addition to corroborating the basics of Lawrence’s testimony, Jamison said Greene made the spontaneous decision to rob Lawrence and Guevara. Second-degree murder is a killing that occurs while committing another felony crime.

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