DA drops plans to seek death penalty in theater shooting

Oct 16, 2022, 8:19 AM | Updated: 8:54 am

YORK, Pa. (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped plans to seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing a man and wounding a woman when he opened fire inside a movie theater in Pennsylvania almost three years ago.

Anu-Malik Johnson, 23, is charged with first- and third-degree murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangering and related offenses in the December 2019 shooting of 22-year-old Andre White Jr. at Regal Cinemas 13 in West Manchester Township.

York County prosecutors told the court they planned to pursue capital punishment if he was convicted of first-degree murder. Two years ago, a judge declined to bar them from doing so, rejecting defense arguments alleging a lack of evidence and citing the defendant’s age.

The York Dispatch, however, reports that the district attorney’s office asked last week to withdraw its intent to seek the death penalty, citing a mitigation report submitted by the defense as well as “relevant case law and applicable jury instructions.”

Defense attorney Jonathan White hailed the decision, saying he had “hoped and believed” prosecutors would drop plans to seek capital punishment. “I believe they made the right decision,” he said while declining to talk about the contents of the mitigation report.

Kyle King, spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, declined comment, saying his office doesn’t comment on “pending matters.” he said.

Witnesses to the shooting told investigators that White had briefly spoken with Johnson and another man as he headed to his seat, but Johnson later approached the seated victim and opened fire, authorities said. Police said the victim was hit five times.

Authorities allege that the shooter continued to fire as he ran for the exit with his companion. Two bullets struck a woman seated in a row in front of the shooting victim, one injuring her shoulder and the other grazing her cheek, police said. Several other people were later charged with hindering apprehension and other counts in the case.

No trial date for Johnson has been set. White said he believed the case could go before a jury by March.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The Kid Laroi appears at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on April 3, 2022, left, and Jus...
Associated Press

Apple Music reveals top music in 2022 and listener charts

NEW YORK (AP) — “Stay,” the smash hit by The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber topped Apple Music’s global song chart in 2022 as the giant music streamer released its end-of-year lists and provided listeners with data on their own most listened-to tunes. “Stay,” which stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks this […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Big tobacco tries to stop California flavored tobacco ban

SAN DIEGO (AP) — R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco companies filed a request Tuesday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to impose an emergency order to stop California from enforcing a ban on flavored tobacco products that was overwhelmingly approved by voters earlier this month. The ban was first passed by the state legislature two years […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Key allegations, witnesses as Trump Org. trial winds down

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s inaugural address clocked in at just 16 minutes. Closing arguments are slated for Thursday in his company’s criminal tax fraud case? Prosecutors and defense lawyers say those could take seven hours or more. Those projections speak to the complexity of the case, which stems from longtime Trump […]
18 hours ago
FILE - In this aerial file photo provided by the National Park Service is the Junction Butte wolf p...
Associated Press

Montana judge restores state wolf hunting regulations

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge on Tuesday lifted a temporary restraining order that limited wolf hunting and trapping, saying there is nothing to suggest rules now in place will make wolf populations unsustainable in the short term. District Judge Christopher Abbott also rejected concerns raised by environmentalists that harvesting up to six wolves […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Kanye West, left, and Kim Kardashian attend the WSJ. Magazine Innovator Awards on Nov. 6, 20...
Associated Press

Kim Kardashian and Ye settle divorce, averting custody trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kim Kardashian and Ye have reached a settlement in their divorce, averting a trial that had been set for next month, court documents filed Tuesday showed. The former couple and their attorneys filed documents asking for a judge’s approval of terms they have agreed on, including $200,000 per month child support […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Texas woman pleads guilty to role in Vanessa Guillen’s death

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The only suspect arrested in connection with the killing of Vanessa Guillén at a Texas military base in 2020 pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that included helping dispose of the soldier’s body near Fort Hood. Cecily Aguilar, 24, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Waco, Texas, to one count of […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
DA drops plans to seek death penalty in theater shooting