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Pair held for trial in slaying

Timothy Clark, 15, and his brother's friend, Damien Holloway, 27, were shot to death execution-style on a Northeast Philly street in July 2007.

Timothy Clark, 15, and his brother's friend, Damien Holloway, 27, were shot to death execution-style on a Northeast Philly street in July 2007.

They were forced to their knees, with their hands behind their heads, witnesses testified yesterday.

Gerald Drummond then allegedly fired one shot into Holloway's jaw, and one into the back of Clark's head.

Drummond, 24, who is white, didn't like Holloway, who was black and had a baby daughter with Drummond's sister, according to witnesses.

"The n----- got what he deserved," Drummond allegedly said to Nicole Penrose and Amy Rudnitskas, who each testified yesterday at Drummond's and co-defendant Robert McDowell's preliminary hearing.

Clark was shot just because "he was a witness and he [Drummond] couldn't leave any loose ends," Drummond said, according to Penrose.

Rudnitskas similarly testified that Drummond had said, "Timmy was a casualty of war."

Municipal Judge James M. DeLeon yesterday held Drummond and McDowell, 26, who both lived in the Northeast neighborhood, for trial on first-degree murder, conspiracy and weapons offenses in the early-morning shooting on July 13, 2007, on Vandike Street near Longshore Avenue.

Four civilian prosecution witnesses who knew one or both of the defendants testified yesterday, and three were clearly nervous and reluctant.

Under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Christine Wechsler, Penrose and Rudnitskas said they were both in Drummond's house on Knorr Street when Drummond talked about the shooting. Penrose said that she saw Drummond enter a trap door from his living room and go down to his basement to put away a gun. He said that he was going to throw it into the river, she said.

McDowell allegedly was with Drummond when the two of them ran into Holloway and Clark, who were walking from a 7-Eleven store. McDowell, who had the gun, allegedly gave it to Holloway to pull the trigger.

" 'Casper didn't have the balls to pull the trigger,' " Penrose testified that Drummond had said. Casper is one of McDowell's nicknames.

"All I heard was he [McDowell] couldn't do it and Gerald had to do it," Rudnitskas testified.

Penrose further testified that sometime before the shooting, she witnessed a fight between Drummond and Holloway. Holloway believed the fight was over the "color of his skin," she said.

At one point during her testimony, Penrose cried: "I don't want to do this!" as she teared up.

Rudnitskas, who had to be escorted to the courtroom by homicide detectives, entered red-eyed. She was crying loudly when she left the room.

Another witness, Erica Marrero, McDowell's fiancee, frequently smiled at McDowell during her testimony.

"I love him with all my life!" she blurted at one point.

Earlier, Marrero testified that detectives who took a statement from her "fabricated the whole thing." She said that they threatened that she would lose her baby and would not get a city job if she didn't sign the statement.

The statement was not read aloud in court, but was entered into evidence. In it, Marrero allegedly said that her fiance told her that he couldn't do the shooting, and that Drummond shot the victims.

Thomas Zehnder, a friend of Holloway's, testified that he heard Drummond say at a party "how he laid them down and killed" the victims because "he was tired of [Holloway's] s---." Zehnder said that because of the shooting, Drummond considered himself an "OG," or Original Gangster.

During the testimony, Clark's mother, Bette Clark, frequently dropped her head crying, as her sister, Phyllis Asman McBride, also wept. After the hearing, Bette Clark said that yesterday was the first time that she heard that her son, who had just finished his freshman year at Abraham Lincoln High, was killed execution-style.

Holloway, she said, was a friend of her oldest son and was living with them at the time. She couldn't believe that Drummond would kill her youngest son, Timothy, who Drummond knew from the neighborhood.

Holloway's father, Eugene Holloway, said "it wasn't a shocker to me" to hear Drummond refer to his son by the N-word. "Gerald called him that," he said. *