Trial begins

City man charged in 2015 slaying

ANNE REINER/Sun-Gazette Terrance X. Perez, 22, is led out of the Lycoming County Courthouse after the first day of his homicide trial on Monday.

The homicide trial of Terrance X. Perez opened Monday in Lycoming County Court, with much of the testimony covering evidence found at the crime scene in Williamsport.

Perez, 22, is accused of shooting and killing Jamil M. Bryant outside his home at 406 Anthony St. on May 11, 2015.

Retired Williamsport Police Lt. Arnold Duck testified he found 17 bullet casings in an alley at the scene of the shooting.

Three bullet holes, he testified, also were found at a neighboring building as well as a single bullet hole in the front fender area of a parked car.

A .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle was uncovered a few days later in the basement of the home of Cosme Berrones, 21, of 412 Third Ave., Duck testified.

Berrones pleaded guilty last week to third-degree homicide for his involvement in the alleged murder.

Lycoming County District Attorney Eric R. Lindhardt in his opening statement Monday said it was Berrones who went with Perez to pick up a firearm before Perez was dropped off to shoot and kill Bryant.

Lindhardt noted Perez, who had prior convictions, first had Berrones take him to his own home to drop off his ankle monitoring device used to track his whereabouts in order to establish an alibi.

Berrones testified Bryant and Rory Herbert had gotten into a fight over marijuana earlier that day. Later, Herbert and Perez and Brandon Love went to Berrones’s home and argued over the phone with Bryant.

Berrone said Bryant threatened to blow Love’s head off. He said Perez took issue with that, saying that Love was family.

“He (Perez) said, ‘Jamil is not the only one with guns,'” Berrone said.

Berrones testified Perez left the home and came back with a silver revolver with no bullets.

He later got Berrones to drive him to his home on West Fourth Street in Williamsport to drop off the ankle monitor,

“He was talking about shooting Jamil, sir,” Berrones said under questioning from Lindhardt.

The two returned to Berrones’s home and then went to Catch-All Self Storage along with Love to get an AR-15 rifle.

Berrones said they went looking for Bryant, first at his home and then they went to Timberland Apartments before returning to Bryant’s residence, where they spotted him on his front porch.

After parking the car a few streets away from Bryant’s home, Perez got out of the vehicle and walked to Bryant’s house with the gun.

“I heard what sounded like fireworks,” Berrones said.

He said he saw Perez running up the street. After Perez got back to the car, he claimed to have shot Bryant. He warned Berrones and Love not to say anything.

Berrones testified that under a plea agreement he agreed to testify for the prosecution.

He said he is not testifying to have his state prison sentence for third-degree homicide reduced to 12 to 25 years from a longer jail sentence.

“I feel bad for what I did,” he said.

The trial continues today before county President Judge Nancy L. Butts.