A Lancaster man was convicted Friday of first-degree murder for the 2014 drive-by shooting of another man following an altercation inside a convenience store.
A Lancaster County jury deliberated 25-year-old Mathew Morales' fate for about an hour and 45 minutes before making its decision.
The foreman announced the verdict at 1:15 p.m.
Morales made no reaction to the verdict. Families and supporters on both sides sobbed.
Morales faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Lancaster County Judge Donald Totaro will formally order sentence on Feb. 16.
The jury of 9 women and 3 men started deliberating about 11 a.m. Friday, following closing arguments and Judge Totaro’s instructions on the law.
Manheim Township police charged Morales with shooting Garriga, from a vehicle, as Garriga walked on New Holland Avenue. The two men had exchanged words in a nearby Turkey Hill store.
Testimony started Monday afternoon.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Fetterman, prosecuting the case with Assistant District Attorney Maria Cusick, called numerous witnesses including: a man who was in the car with Morales, a doctor who performed Garriga’s autopsy, and several police officers.
Garriga, 25, was found fallen on the sidewalk in the 800 block of New Holland Avenue, shortly after he called 911 about 3:20 a.m. Officers found a cellphone and container of nachos, which Garriga had just purchased from the store.
A store clerk testified the two men exchanged words over a “Jesus medallion” Morales was wearing.
Surveillance video showed Morales’ vehicle in relation to Garriga walking, which police allege eliminates any other vehicle from being in the area when Garriga was shot.
Manheim Township police Detective Brian Freysz filed charges.
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