An investigative grand jury that led to charges in four Lancaster County homicides cases closed earlier this month.
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman empaneled the county’s fifth-ever investigative grand jury last year, with their first hearings in March 2017.
The panel, which had subpoena power, but not indictment ability, met for two days every month at the Lancaster County Courthouse.
They heard testimony on eight unsolved homicide cases. As a result, charges were filed in four cases.
- Carl Hunter: Charged with stabbing Michael Evans in Lancaster city in 2009. Hunter is not in custody. Police are seeking information on his whereabouts.
- Niziere J. Dean and Kyaire Thompson-Brown: Charged with shooting Edward Cameron in Lancaster city in 2015. Police determined Rahdir Maxton also took part in the killing; Maxton was killed two days after the Cameron homicide.
- A man was charged with a killing in Lancaster city in 2017.
- Four individuals were charged with killing a Lancaster County man in his home in 2016.
(Public disclosure can only be made if the grand jury’s involvement was included in a public document, such as a criminal complaint.)
The grand jury issued presentments, recommendations that charges be filed, in the Evans and Cameron killings.
“The grand jury is a unique opportunity for citizens to actively participate in helping us solve what was previously without charges,” District Attorney Stedman said. “We all thank them for their commitment and dedication.
“They are a tool of last resort, yet a very powerful one, as shown in these tangible results.”
Assistant District Attorney Christine L. Wilson was lead prosecutor for the proceedings.
The grand jury’s unique subpoena powers presented a potential prison term for uncooperative witnesses who refused to testify.
“Families of those lost to crime deserve to know that we have exhausted all remedies in seeking justice,” Stedman said.
Typically, 23 jurors sat at each hearing; 15 were required for a quorum.
At a brief ceremony last month, court officials thanked the jurors for their service and attention throughout the process.
Lancaster County Judge Donald Totaro was the supervising judge.
Along with Wilson, First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen and Assistant District Attorneys Mark Fetterman and Travis S. Anderson represented the Commonwealth in court.
All charged are presumed innocent.
The public was not allowed to sit in on the sessions.
Previous grand juries were empaneled in 1995, 2001, 2005, and 2011.
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