NARYSTOWN – A man from Pottstown acted with specific intent to kill when he fatally shot another man he reportedly considered a friend during a meeting on Easter Sunday 2019 in the area, a prosecutor told jurors.
“Make no mistake, this is a first-degree murder case. You will have no doubt that the evidence will show a specific intent to kill, ”Edward F. McCann Jr., first assistant attorney for Montgomery County Attorney, told the jury when the trial for Stephen Moore’s murder began on Monday.
A 34-year-old Moore from 400 Quarter Street is accused of first- and third-degree murder and possession of a firearm in connection with the alleged shooting of a 25-year-old 25-year-old man at 12:26 pm on April 21, 2019. old Joshua Alexander Smith, held in Quarter 600 Industrial Highway.
First-degree murder is premeditated murder, which requires a specific intent to kill and is punishable by life imprisonment after sentencing. Third-degree murder is murder with malice, hardness of heart or bad temper and is punishable by a maximum of 20 to 40 years in prison if convicted.
McCann claimed Moore made an immortal shot to Smith’s head at close range and a second shot to Smith’s neck that hit his trachea and injured his lungs.
“The second wound killed him. It’s a deadly shot, the second shot that was fired, “said McCann, who is being assisted in court by co-prosecutor Lauren Marvel.
But attorney W. Eric Peterson argued that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to substantiate their theory, and that the case was based on “assumptions, assumptions and suspicions” and circumstantial evidence that is unreliable.
“There are no motives in this case. Here is the zero motive. In fact, they were best friends. They hung out. They were best friends, ”Peterson said.
McCann argued that prosecutors should not prove the motive, only that Moore was the man who fatally shot Smith.
Peterson suggested that another unknown person shot Smith.
According to Peterson, Moore will testify in court that at Smith’s request he took Smith to the U-Haul facility near the industrial highway and that when Smith got out of his silver jeep, he heard gunshots and watched Smith run between the two cars. U-Haul.
Moore, according to Peterson, claims an unknown person approached him, grabbed him and said, “Where is it? Where is it? ”And hit him with a .38 caliber Ruger revolver, and that the gun hit his jeep when the couple was fighting for control of it. Moore allegedly claims to have then fled the area in a jeep out of fear.
The trial before Judge William R. Carpenter is expected to last several days.
The investigation began when Potstown police responded to a report of a shooting at Industrial Highway and found that Smith had received a gunshot wound. Smith was taken to Potstown Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
As officers responded to the murder scene, a Potstown police officer spotted a 2015 silver jeep moving at high speed east on Industrial Highway, away from the firing range, and began following a car that crashed at the intersection of High and Wils Street. a criminal complaint filed by District Detective James McGowan, who is now retired, and Potstown Sergeant Thomas Leahan.
As police approached the accident, the male driver got out of the jeep and fled the scene on foot. After the accident, detectives found a .38 caliber Ruger revolver with a Jeep center console and a 9mm Taurus weapon, as well as two mobile phones.
Peterson admitted that the 9mm weapon belonged to Moore and that Moore was banned from owning a firearm due to a previous criminal record. Peterson suggested that Moore fled the Potstown area after the incident for fear of being accused of illegal possession of weapons.
Ballistic tests revealed that a bullet found from Smith’s body was fired from a .38 caliber Ruger revolver found in the jeep, according to an arrest warrant.
The investigation revealed that Moore and Smith together left Smith’s residence earlier in the day in a jeep driven by Moore and owned by Moore’s wife.
The victim and Moore went to the Home Depot store in Potstown together and were recorded on video when Moore bought a screwdriver a few minutes before the shooting. It is unclear why the purchase was made, and it is unclear what Moore and Smith were going to do.
But McCann suggested, “We can conclude that they weren’t on Sunday’s trip.”
Later, video surveillance in the area of High and Wilson streets recorded how the jeep crashed into a tree and a man who fled the scene. Detectives claim the man fleeing matched Moore’s physical appearance as he was pictured on Home Depot’s video surveillance.
Moore was arrested on December 3, 2019 in an apartment building in the 800th block of North Charlotte Street in Potstown in the western region of the Montgomery County Special Forces.
In a criminal complaint, detectives allege that Moore was previously convicted of manslaughter in Camden, New Jersey, for which he served time in prison, and as a result he was banned from possessing firearms.
Jurors will not be allowed to learn about the specific nature of Moore’s previous convictions.