Closing arguments are expected today

The brother of the man on trial in the 2012 homicide of Kevan Connelly testified in Lycoming County Court Monday he was not at Williamsport’s Flanigan Park at the time of the shooting.

Kadeem Alford was among a number of defense witnesses who took the stand during day six in the jury trial of Raymaar Alford as the prosecution rested before noon and the defense began to present its case.

Closing arguments by attorneys are expected to be heard today.

The defendant told Lycoming County Judge Nancy Butts, who is presiding over the trial, he will not testify on his behalf.

Kadeem Alford said he was in the park just before the shooting, which took place in the early evening hours of July 9, 2012, but did not see his brother there.

Kadeem Alford said he heard shots after he exited the park while walking in the vicinity of Memorial Avenue and Walnut Street.

Antoine Parris Manire, of 807 Hepburn St., testified last week that he discovered a gun he legally owned was missing from his home the day after the shooting.

Manire had testified he never loaned out the .45-caliber gun to either Raymaar Alford or Qu Mar Moore, who has been identified by some witnesses as a gunman in the park. But he admitted it was left unsecured in his home where Kadeem Alford lived for a time.

Kadeem Alford acknowledged he spent a lot of time at Minire’s home, but said he did not know that Manire had a gun.

“Are you asking a jury to believe that you didn’t know he had a gun?” Lycoming County District Attorney Eric Linhardt asked.

“I know he had a (firearms) license,” Alford said.

Law enforcement officials who were called to the stand described the scene at the park following the shooting.

Williamsport City Police Lt. Steven Helm, who was watch commander that evening, recalled a hostile crowd of people who refused to talk with law enforcement officials.

“They were more concerned that the ambulance was taking so long to get there than us controlling the scene,” he said.

Kevan Connolly died that evening shortly after being rushed to Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

Helm said one young black male wanted to talk to him but was quickly hushed up by an adult.

No one, he said, would identify a shooter.

Defense attorney Donald Martino showed the court video from the park that evening, including that of Helm trying to talk to some people.

In the video, a boy in the small crowd quickly brings up his right hand in a gesture that Martino suggested to Helm might well indicate someone firing a gun. The boy then appeared to either wave or hold up three fingers.

Helm said he had no recollection of talking to the boy.

He said if he would have found it significant, he would have put it in his police report.

Tramane Moore, the brother of Qu Mar Moore, said he was at the park that night but only heard gunshots.

He said he was near the spot where the shooting occurred and saw the brief fight on the park’s one basketball court prior to the shooting.

After Kevan Connolly and Ravon Blow-Enty exchanged punches, a crowd quickly gathered around the scene blocking his view, according to Moore.

Blow-Enty had been placed at the scene by earlier testimony.

Testimony also revealed that Raymaar Alford and Qu Mar Moore and others came to the park to fight Kevan Connelly and Braheem Connelly. Bad blood reportedly existed between Moore and Braheem Connelly over Kayla Marshall, a woman identified as Moore’s girlfriend.

State Police Cpl. Elwood Spencer, a forensic examiner with the Wyoming Regional Laboratory, testified about .45- and .40-caliber bullet casings recovered at the scene.

He acknowledged that as many as three guns could have been involved in the shooting.

Martino questioned private detective Scott J. Warner about the location of the casings.

He said most of them were found near a spot off the basketball court where witnesses have placed Qu Mar Moore.

Chantel Hunter testified she was sitting on a park bench facing the basketball ball court with Anita Jackson when she heard an argument involving the Connolly brothers, Raymaar Alford and a light-skinned black man.

She said Moore was by the playground behind her and away from the young men who were arguing.

Hunter said she saw no punches thrown.

She did hear gunfire, however.

“I was stunned. I didn’t move,” she said.

She then saw everybody running.

Dr. Rameen Starling-Roney, a forensic pathologist, testified that the cause of death of Kevan Connolly was multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death was homicide.

He noted that four bullets hit Connolly, including one that entered his left back area striking his aorta, liver and right lung before exiting the chest.

“That wound in itself would be fatal,” he said.

The other shots struck Connolly in the left shoulder, left side of the back and right arm.