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Man Receives 2 Consecutive Life Sentences in Bristol Twp. Murders

August 7, 2017

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

Eric Dillard

         Eric Dillard

A Bucks County judge this morning sentenced Eric Lamar Dillard Jr., 28, to two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole for the 2014 shooting deaths of two men during a drug-related home invasion robbery in Bristol Township.

Judge Rea B. Boylan last week convicted Dillard of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Tyrone Moss, 31, and Joshua Johnson, 29, and of attempted murder in the non-fatal shooting of a third victim, Lamel Duffy, 27. Duffy was shot in the head and back, but survived.

The Commonwealth had sought the death penalty. After weighing evidence of aggravating and mitigating factors presented during a penalty-phase hearing on Friday, Boylan chose to impose consecutive life sentences.

The judge cited aggravating circumstances including Dillard’s history of violent felonies, the multiple murders, and the fact that Dillard created a grave risk to another person during the commission of a crime.

Mitigating circumstances, Boylan said, included Dillard’s age at the time of the crimes, his “chaotic childhood,” and the fact that he neither chose the victims, planned the crimes nor fired the fatal shots.

Boylan said she concluded that the aggravating factors did not outweigh the mitigating factors.

The judge also imposed a concurrent 20- to 40-year sentence for the attempted murder of Duffy.

The families of the victims “are extremely satisfied to know that Mr. Dillard will not be in the community at any time,” Deputy District Attorney Antonetta Stancu said afterward. “The fact that he will serve the rest of his life in jail is a sense of closure for them.”

Stancu said that she, too, was satisfied with Boylan’s decision.

“How could one not be satisfied with the fact that somebody will serve the rest of their lifetime in jail?” she told reporters. “I certainly feel that it is a just outcome.”

Boylan heard both the guilt and penalty phases of Dillard’s trial without a jury, at the defendant’s request. When given the opportunity to speak before his sentence was imposed, Dillard declined.

Dillard was convicted of murdering Moss and Johnson during a drug-related robbery at Johnson’s home in the 900 block of Winder Drive. Both of the deceased were found bound and shot in the head.

Duffy, left for dead, managed to free himself and walk to the house of a neighbor, who called 911.

Dillard also was convicted of aggravated assault, multiple counts of robbery, burglary, possession of an instrument of crime, and corresponding conspiracy counts, for which Boylan imposed no further penalty.

Dillard was one of three men who conspired to rob Johnson on July 7, 2014, believing that Johnson had substantial marijuana and as much as $30,000 cash at his home, prosecutors alleged. 

Dillard rode from Philadelphia to Johnson's house with Anthony King Jr., a close friend, and Demetrius Baker, an acquaintance of King's. 

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 victims were forced to lie face-down on the floor while the robbers bound their hands with zip ties and video-game power cords. After robbing the men, Baker testified, he was waiting outside in his car when he heard gunshots from inside the house.

Evidence showed that King, not Dillard, executed Moss and Johnson with single shots to the head to keep them from identifying him later. Dillard shot Duffy once in the back with a revolver the robbers had taken from Johnson, prosecutors said.

King was shot to death in Philadelphia several weeks after the murders. Baker is awaiting trial in Bucks County.

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 Jennifer M. Schorn, 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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