Man testifies about night of fatal home invasion
On the night of Oct. 31, Casey Wilson drove Jordan Rawls and Joseph Coleman Jr. to Shane Wright’s home on Poplar Street in the city to rob the 25-year-old man of money and drugs.
Even though both Rawls and Coleman entered the house with guns just before 10 p.m., murder was not part of the plan, according to Wilson, who testified Tuesday at a hearing.
Wilson, 20, testified that minutes before the home invasion took place, he entered Wright’s home at 613 Poplar St. and visited with him for several minutes.
“I knew him (Wright) for almost eight years. I was a good friend of his,” Wilson told a packed court room.
Wilson said he had been sent into the house by Rawls and Coleman for the purpose of finding out exactly where Wright was in the home.
While in the house, Wilson heard other people’s voices, but he saw no one but Wright.
On the stand, Wilson admitted he returned to the car and told the other men that Wright “was on the couch.” Coleman and Rawls got out of the vehicle and headed to the house.
Within minutes, Wright was shot dead in the front doorway and his 50-year-old mother, Kristine Kibler, was gravely wounded inside. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center.
Wright’s two children, ages 6 and 7, along with a his sister, her boyfriend and her 2-year-old son also were in the home, but they were not harmed.
Wilson, who has not been charged with any crimes, was one of two witnesses called to testify Tuesday at the joint preliminary hearing for Rawls and Coleman that was held for security purposes at the Lycoming County Courthouse.
Wilson claimed Coleman actually had left the house before he heard two gunshots — just seconds apart — coming from the direction of the house.
“I saw ‘Crack’ (Coleman’s street name) run past the car and into an alley. I then heard a pow and five seconds later another pow,” Wilson said.
Coleman got back into the car and soon was joined by Rawls, said Wilson, who referred to Rawls only as Coleman’s “friend” because at the time he did not know his name.
On the stand, Wilson pointed to both Coleman and Rawls as the men he drove to Poplar Street.
Soon after Rawls got back into the car, Coleman called him a derogatory term “for shooting them,” Wilson said.
The three men then went to Wilson’s home, where Rawls reportedly told the two he shot Wright and Wright’s mother because he thought “they were after me,” Wilson testified.
Wilson said he drove Coleman, 35, and Rawls, 24, to Wright’s home, in part, because the two men “threatened my life and my fiancee’s.”
However, he also testified he owned “a debt” to a third party, an associate of Coleman’s whom he identified only as a prison inmate known on the street as “Mook.”
“I owed Mook money,” and cash taken in the home invasion was “going to be put on his books,” said Wilson, who currently also is a prison inmate, jailed on a probation violation.
Also testifying at the preliminary hearing was the lead investigator in the case, city police Agent Trent Peacock. He read brief statements taken from the autopsy reports of Wright and Kibler.
“Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Kibler died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen,” Peacock said.
Kibler’s daughter and Wright’s sister, Cheyanna Wright, wiped tears from her face as she heard the agent’s testimony. She was among the victims’ family members and friends to attend the hearing.
At the conclusion of the testimony, Coleman’s defense attorney made a motion to dismiss charges of criminal homicide and conspiracy to commit homicide filed against his client.
The attorney argued that based on Wilson’s testimony, Coleman was standing outside the home when the fatal shots were fired and that Coleman expressed “surprise and shock that individuals were shot.”
“This was not something he planned,” the attorney argued.
However, District Judge Christian Frey ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold both Coleman and Rawls on two counts each of criminal homicide and all related offenses, including convicted felons not to possess firearms.
Coleman, of 111 Parkwood St., is a convicted drug dealer, while Rawls, of 1029 Race St., was convicted in Philadelphia of felony robbery in 2012.
Both remain behind bars at the Lycoming County Prison without bail.