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Accomplice in 2014 Double-Murder Sentenced to 10 to 20 Years

December 1, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Antonetta Stancu, 215.348.6340, astancu@buckscounty.org

Demetrius Baker
     Demetrius Baker

A cooperating accomplice in the 2014 shooting deaths of two men during a drug-related home invasion robbery in Bristol Township pleaded guilty Thursday to third-degree murder and was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.

Demetrius Baker, 31, of Philadelphia, admitted participating with two other men in a July 7, 2014, robbery that turned deadly after he had left the victims’ house.

Last summer, Baker’s testimony helped to convict 28-year-old Eric Dillard, who took part in the gunfire, of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Tyrone Moss, 31, and Joshua Johnson, 29, during a robbery at Johnson’s home in the 900 block of Winder Drive.

Both victims were found bound and shot in the head. A third victim, Lamel Duffy, 27, was shot in the head and back, but survived.

On Aug. 7, Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Rea B. Boylan sentenced Dillard to two consecutive life terms without possibility of parole.

A third suspect, Anthony King Jr., who was believed to have fired the fatal shots, was himself shot to death in Philadelphia several weeks after the murders.

Deputy District Attorney Antonetta Stancu, who recommended the sentence with defense attorney Todd Henry, said Baker had shown candor and remorse in helping authorities successfully prosecute the case.

“Mr. Baker agreed to testify and took the stand without receiving a single guarantee,” Stancu told Boylan. “There were times when I looked him in the eye and told him, `You could still be facing a life sentence.’”

Baker testified that he, King and Dillard conspired to rob Johnson after hearing that he had a large amount of marijuana and as much as $30,000 at his home.

“I heard the money amount and I was being greedy,” he said at Dillard’s trial.

Baker testified that King, whom the victims knew, entered Johnson’s house around midnight to scout out the number of people inside. At King’s signal, Baker said, he and Dillard burst into the home a few minutes later with their faces concealed and Dillard brandishing a semiautomatic handgun.

The men ordered Moss and Duffy to the floor, and Johnson, who was partially paralyzed, was pulled from his wheelchair by Baker, who said he found a revolver on the wheelchair seat. Dillard took the revolver and handed the semiautomatic gun to King, Baker testified. 

The victims were forced to lie face-down on the floor while the robbers bound their hands with zip ties and video-game power cords. Baker said he searched the house and found about $3,000 cash and a modest amount of marijuana. King, he said, began stuffing other belongings from the house into a black bag. 

After Baker and King loaded the bag, drugs and money into the trunk of Baker's car, King returned to the house while Baker started his engine and waited. Less than a minute later, Baker testified, “I heard gunshots. I thought, ‘what was that?’”

According to Stancu, King had decided to kill the victims because they could identify him. She said King executed Moss and Johnson with single shots to the head from the semiautomatic.

Duffy was shot once in the head with the semiautomatic, and Dillard shot him once in the back with the revolver before the robbers fled. Duffy survived, freed himself after the robbers left, and collapsed on the front porch of a next-door neighbor, who called 911.

Baker began cooperating after his arrest in January 2016. He testified that he agreed to help prosecutors because he was remorseful and wanted “to be at peace with myself.”

In court Thursday, he apologized to members of Moss’s family, saying, “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the situation….I just hope that you would find it in your heart to forgive me.”

Boylan accepted the plea and sentenced Baker to concurrent 10- to 20-year sentences for the two murders, plus a consecutive 10 years of probation for aggravated assault in Duffy’s shooting. She also ordered that he be housed separately from Dillard in prison.

The case was investigated by the Bucks County Detectives and the Bristol Township Police Department, and prosecuted by Stancu and Deputy District Attorney Kristin M. McElroy.

Approved for release by Antonetta Stancu, Deputy District Attorney.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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