Four teenagers on Wednesday were ordered held for trial as adults on homicide, conspiracy, and other charges in the Oct. 29 killing of a former Pennridge High School football player.
Iziah Ramon Lewis, 19, was shot and killed, allegedly by one of the boys, when he met them for what he thought would be a drug deal.
In addition to homicide and conspiracy, Carson Kimnach, 17; Noah Strickland, 16; Christopher Pavack, 16; and Harrison Moss, 15, were charged with robbery and carrying firearms without a license.
Strickland and Moss appeared at the preliminary hearing before Judge C. Robert Roth in District Court in Quakertown. Their attorneys, William and Robert Goldman, said they plan to petition to have the case moved to Juvenile Court.
Pavack and Kimnach waived their hearings, but Pavack gave an hour of testimony in the packed courtroom, consistent with prosecutors' version but offering some fresh details about what allegedly occurred that night.
According to his account:
The boys had planned for roughly a week to rob a drug dealer and then resell the marijuana. They went that night to meet a dealer; two of them had smoked marijuana, and they carried two guns belonging to Strickland's father. But the dealer did not show and instead referred them to Lewis.
"We didn't know who it was, but the original guy that we were supposed to rob couldn't make it, so we made the decision" to rob Lewis," Pavack told the court.
When Pavack, Strickland, and Moss met Lewis at a Perkasie park, Moss and Pavack brandished guns at Lewis, who was in his car and drove away. The boys then made ready to leave in Kimnach's car, but Lewis approached them on foot.
Strickland fled into nearby woods. Lewis approached Pavack and Moss, who indicated he might shoot him; Pavack told him not to and fired a warning shot. But when Lewis came closer, Moss shot him once. Lewis tried to run, and Moss fired again, Pavack said.
Lewis sustained one gunshot wound. No evidence has been found that Lewis had a gun, the District Attorney's Office said.
The coroner's report showed that Lewis had drugs, including cocaine and THC, in his system when he died.
Pavack testified unemotionally in front of a packed courtroom of about four dozen, many of them relatives of Lewis' or a defendant.
Defense attorneys said Lewis' death was not part of the robbery and should be tried in Juvenile Court.
"This is a tragic case," said Robert Goldman, Moss' attorney, after the hearing. "What we established today was that this was not an intentional killing."
Dan Sweeney, chief of staff in the Bucks County District Attorney's Office, argued that the boys acted purposefully.
"They created this situation," he said. "They planned that robbery."
Leaving the courtroom with her family, Lewis' mother offered a tearful remembrance of her son, holding a framed photo of him in his football uniform.
Lewis, of Sellersville, was a 2015 graduate of Pennridge, and was a wide receiver and cornerback on the football team.
"I want justice for my baby," said his mother, Latesha Dashit Monroe. "He was a good kid. Everybody loved my baby."