PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Three suspects accused of gunning down a young man during a robbery along the East Busway in 2013 appeared in court Thursday where surveillance video of the incident was played.
One of those suspects had previously confessed, but then changed his story.
Jordan Bey was convicted last fall in the shooting death of 21-year-old Omar Islam at the Martin Luther King Busway in October of 2013.
But, when he heard that two other co-defendants – Desmond Young and Jaquan Frierson – planned to plead guilty, he asked the judge to withdraw his own guilty plea.
But at Thursday’s court proceedings, Bey withdrew the motion to withdraw his guilty plea, so he remains in jail on a sentence of 40 years to life. Bey was 16 at the time of the shooting, and the 40-year option was only granted because he was a juvenile then.
“The motion to withdraw the guilty plea was simply the result of Mr. Bey having received some bad advice either from a jailhouse lawyer or some other person,” said defense attorney Sumner Parker.
The surveillance video shows Islam was waiting under a shelter for a bus as two people approached from the right. A third person, dressed in white, is seen serving as lookout. They demanded his cell phone. Then, there was a struggle and one of the suspects pulled a gun.
Islam was shot in the leg, and eventually threw the cell phone into the busway. On the video, he is seen standing up and limping.
Meanwhile, both Young and Frierson pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy.
Frierson, the alleged lookout, was sentenced to six to 12 years in prison.
“He’s very remorseful about this whole thing,” said defense attorney Elbert Gray. “He just wanted to apologize to the victim’s family, apologize to the court for even being here.”
Young will be sentenced in July.
“He’s a college kid,” said defense attorney Pat Thomassey. “He was in CCAC. I mean, just get involved with some people and you’re there when it happens. I mean his involvement was minimal, but he was involved.”
The victim was shot seven times – once in the leg, five times in the back and once in the head.
Bey told police he was with Young the night of the murder when they talked about robbing someone to get some money.
Bey said the other two came up with the idea to go down to the ATM and look for somebody to rob.