While having a cigarette at the back of city police headquarters, accused killer Tyrell Boyd allegedly began to have off-hand conversation about the death penalty with two city detectives who had brought him from the Lycoming County Prison to the police station to be processed.
"Should I get the death penalty for killing 'Muk,' " he allegedly asked Agents Kevin Stiles and L.A. Dincher.
"That's up to the courts," Stiles replied.
"I didn't have to kill him," the 21-year-old Boyd reportedly said.
"No, you didn't," Stiles said.
"I will do the time. I'm going away a long, long time ... as long as it doesn't come with that five-letter word," Boyd allegedly told the agents.
Although he never spoke it, the investigators believed the "five-letter word" Boyd was referring to was "death."
That conversation came to light Monday morning during Boyd's 90-minute preliminary hearing on charges of allegedly gunning down Ansari Wilson inside 1510 Scott St. during the late afternoon of July 20.
Wilson was known to some of his friends as "Muk," police said.
Both Stiles and Dincher testified at the hearing about the death penalty conversion, which they said occurred three days after Boyd had been arrested and jailed on charges of homicide and related offenses. The inmate had been brought to police headquarters to be processed and while there, asked if he could have a cigarette.
District Judge James G. Carn ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold Boyd on all charges, including homicide and felony aggravated assault.
Boyd lives in Philadelphia, but stayed at the Scott Street property with a girlfriend when he was in town, according to what investigators were told. Two days after the shooting, Boyd was arrested in Philadelphia and brought back here in police custody.
In interviews with investigators either in Philadelphia or Williamsport, Boyd allegedly said, "I shot my brother in cold blood."
Stiles testified that Boyd told police that he allegedly shot Wilson, also 21, as Wilson was reaching for a gun under a couch. On the day of the shooting, Boyd and Wilson reportedly had a heated argument over the telephone on the whereabouts of Wilson's guns.
Boyd reportedly told police that he "saw Wilson get a gun and that he (Wilson) 'juked me,' like a flinching move. Boyd thought Wilson was going to shoot him," Stiles testified.
Police found no weapons at the crime scene and Boyd, after being arrested, told investigators he had taken Wilson's gun from the house and later tossed it and the gun used in the shooting from a car window near an unknown bridge as he headed to Philadelphia.
"At some point (while in police custody), Boyd said 'I shot my best friend,' " Dincher testified.
Among other pieces of evidence presented by Lycoming County District Attorney Eric R. Linhardt at the hearing was a report about the autopsy that was performed on Wilson, who lived 600 block of Fourth Avenue.
Wilson suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the torso, according to the report. Wilson was shot in the living room and rushed to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead within the hour.
City police Agent Raymond O. Kontz III also took the stand. He and another officer went to Philadelphia to bring Boyd back to Williamsport after Boyd's arrest.
Kontz testified that during questioning with investigators in Philadelphia, Boyd told police that "Wilson died because he was 'a greedy bastard.' "
Boyd did not elaborate during the interview, but Kontz testified that investigators soon learned that there was "a rift" between Boyd and Wilson "about money taken from an individual," and maybe Boyd's remark might in some way be related to that.
In another remark while in police custody, Boyd reportedly mentioned "the castle doctrine," referring to the legal argument that a man's home is his castle, and that a homeowner is granted some protections under the law if threatened on his property.
"He shouldn't have been in my home," Boyd told police, according to Dincher's testimony.
Also at the hearing, Carn ruled there was sufficient to hold Reginald "Hanni" Johnnie Morton, 27, of 653 Wildwood Blvd., on charges of hindering prosecution, tampering with evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both men remain incarcerated at the county jail; Boyd without bail and Morton in lieu of $250,000 bail.