Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyers

Food and a Cab Ride Lead to Two Pennsylvania Murders

While there’s obviously never a “good” reason for murder, some motives are perhaps easier to comprehend than others.  In unrelated cases, two men will face murder charges in Pennsylvania…  Because of cab directions, and a plate of  food.

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Teenager Facing Murder Charges After Shooting Taxi Driver

16-year-old Aazis Richardson of Newark is facing first, second, and third degree murder charges following the fatal shooting of Scranton cab driver Vincent Darbenzio.  When questioned about what triggered the event, Richardson told investigators, “I didn’t say **** to him, I just told him take this way, he didn’t want to listen.”  Specifically, Richardson felt Darbenzio was “taking the long way and ripping him off.”  After shooting the driver — who had only been working for McCarthy Flowered Cab for about a month — Richardson stole $500.

Darbenzio was discovered dead with two bullet wounds to the head.

Despite his young age, Bloods gang member Richardson will be tried for a laundry list of felony offenses, including murder and robbery.  Yet the defendant himself seems unfazed by the events ahead of him — and behind him.

“I feel my homies die, everybody got to die,” he said when asked if he felt remorse.

When asked about Darbenzio’s family, Richardson’s reply was blunt: “**** them.”

According to Chief Carl Graziano, “…This particular defendant exceeds all measurable levels of coldness.”

Richardson’s preliminary hearing will take place on Friday.

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Elderly Man Shoots Neighbor for “Mooching” Food

Meanwhile in Rochester Mills of Grant Township, a dispute between neighbors escalated into a deadly shooting.  But the trigger wasn’t the expected argument about encroaching hedges, or unleashed dogs.  It was a plate of food.

59-year-old James Buterbaugh may rely on a walker to get around, but this elderly Indiana County resident has nonetheless been connected with the fatal shooting of 51-year-old neighbor David Ackerson.

Buterbaugh accused Ackerson of “mooching” after two plates of food were given to Ackerson by Buterbaugh’s mother.  Angered, Buterbaugh left the scene, only to be pursued by his soon-to-be victim.  When Ackerson caught up with his neighbor, Buterbaugh threatened him.

“Go ahead and shoot me,” Ackerson reportedly countered.

Shockingly, that appears to be precisely what happened.

In addition to murder, Buterbaugh will be charged with simple assault, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment.  These two forms of assault are differentiated from one another based on the degree of physical harm caused, as well as intent. While simple assault involves relatively minor injuries (or an injury from a weapon inflicted negligently), aggravated assault involves serious physical damage (or an injury from a weapon inflicted intentionally), and is treated as a felony.

“You want to talk about a senseless killing?” Indiana County D.A. Patrick Dougherty asks rhetorically.  “The ironic thing was she made a plate of food for the defendant and one for the victim, for some reason that didn’t sit well with the defendant.”

Buterbaugh is currently being held in county jail.

If you or someone you love is facing charges of assault, robbery, or other crimes, you could be facing a hefty fine and a lengthy prison sentence.  You need an experienced defense attorney on your side.  To schedule your free, completely confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today, or contact us online.