News Flash

District Attorney

Posted on: September 22, 2020

Riot Charges Against 3 People Held for Court after Preliminary Hearing Waivers

DomePanCrop

Five people charged with crimes in Lancaster city after a police-involved shooting on Sept. 13 were scheduled for preliminary hearings Monday.

Four of those people – three men and a woman – waived preliminary hearings on various charges.

Jamal S. Newman, T. Jay Fry, and Jessica Lopez will face charges of felony riot, conspiracy, and related offenses in Lancaster County Court, District Judge Bruce Roth ordered on Monday.

Seth Gardner, 21, will face a misdemeanor count of propulsion of missiles and summary public drunkenness in County Court.

Also Monday, District Judge Bruce Roth modified bail for Newman, Fry, Lopez, and Gardner.

A fifth person, 31-year-old Timothy Garcia, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and possession of cocaine, as originally charged. He was sentenced to time served to 23 months and must pay restitution.

Some charges against Newman, Fry and Lopez were modified. A first-degree felony count of arson against Newman was amended to a summary, based on the value of what was burned, and felony arson originally filed against Fry was withdrawn due to insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction. Multiple counts of conspiracy were consolidated to one count of conspiracy to commit riot. 

The investigation is ongoing regarding anyone else who was involved in crimes on Sept 13. and Sept. 14, and we will continue to pursue charges and prosecution against those individuals. Part of the investigative process involves review of video.

“The actions of police and SERT in an extremely volatile environment last week minimized property damage and protected lives,” District Attorney Heather Adams said Monday. “Moving forward, we will assure fair process for all defendants by meticulously analyzing all charges and determining what can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The burden of proof required for arrest and conviction are entirely different standards, and after careful review of charges filed by Lancaster city police, our office made the applicable amendments necessary to secure convictions in each case consistent with the law and the evidence.

Regarding bail, District Judge Roth, in response to motions from defense lawyers, modified bail for Newman, Fry, and Lopez to unsecured amounts – meaning funds are not required for release.

All three are under bail conditions, which include a ban from being within a block of the Lancaster city police station. Lopez will be under house arrest, District Judge Roth ordered.

Gardner’s bail was reduced from $10,000 to $5,000.

Preliminary hearings for others charged regarding actions on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 are scheduled for later dates.

Everyone charged is presumed innocent.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in District Attorney