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Man pleads guilty to part in September shooting death of man

Kahmarri Z. Spencer
Kahmarri Z. Spencer
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, August 04, 2017 01:21 pm

A Fort Wayne man has pleaded guilty to his part in the shooting death of Robert J. Moore last September.

Kahmarri Z. Spencer, 19, of the 1900 block of Hobson Road, pleaded guilty Friday in Allen Superior Court to aiding in an aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony. Since it is an open plea, Spencer can be sentenced between three and 16 years, as the court deems proper, in exchange for the murder charge and a firearms enhancement being dismissed in this case, as well as a misdemeanor firearms charge in an unrelated case.

Spencer is one of three people believed involved in the Sept. 20 homicide of 55-year-old Moore, who was mistaken for a rival gang member, as he stood on his sister's porch. Spencer and Trevon N. Sullivan are being held in the Allen County Jail for the shooting death of Moore in the 4100 block of Avondale Drive.

Moore was the 35th homicide in Fort Wayne and Allen County in 2016.

The third man, who is believed to have fired the fatal shot that killed Moore, currently is incarcerated in Illinois, according to Steve Godfrey, chief counsel for the Allen County Prosecutor's Office. He has not been charged yet, and there is no time frame on when he will be charged, Godfrey said. He also did not know what charges the man faced in Illinois.

"We want the guy who actually shot the bullet," Godfrey said.

Sullivan is scheduled to appear in court next week, when he is expected to plead guilty to aiding in the murder for allegedly driving the getaway car, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

During the hearing, Spencer said, "I intentionally shot a firearm at a group of people at a house... I shot at Robert Moore on purpose."

However, Spencer's firearm jammed, and he never got a shot off, which resulted in the reduced charge.

Moore's sister told police she heard shots ring out at about 11 p.m. Sept. 20 in the 4100 block of Avondale Drive. While she didn't see who fired the gun, she saw "numerous" flashes before finding Moore lying on her porch, the affidavit said. Moore was pronounced dead at 11:36 p.m. from a single gunshot wound to his chest.

A couple of days later, officers from the Fort Wayne Police Department's gang unit conducted a traffic stop on four people, including Spencer, who allegedly had a magazine that matched a 9-mm handgun found in the vehicle. Ballistics testing by the Indiana State Police Lab showed the gun matched a shell casing found at the scene of the shooting, the affidavit said.

Spencer told police during a Feb. 14 interview that he and three others allegedly went to the area of the shooting. While they passed the residence, he told police, they thought there were rival gang members standing on the porch. Spencer said they pulled into the alley and he and another person exited the car and allegedly fired numerous shots toward the people on the porch. Shortly after the shooting, they discovered Moore was not their intended target, the affidavit said.

Sullivan told police during a Feb. 14 interview that he allegedly drove Spencer and two other people to the area of the shooting. He told police he knew the individuals were armed and that they planned on shooting rival gang members who were standing on a porch. He said Spencer and two others exited the car and walked between the houses and allegedly fired several shots before returning to the car and he drove away, the affidavit said.

Moore was one of four people shot on Sept. 20. One man was shot in the leg at 12:20 p.m. at the intersection of St. Martins and Warsaw streets. Two males were critically shot at 12:40 p.m. in front of 4033 Lillie St.

September was a particularly busy month for homicide detectives as 10 people, including four killed Sept. 11 in the 3000 block of Holton Avenue and three killed Sept. 13 inside Sports and Spirits Bar and Grill, were declared homicide victims.

According to the terms of the plea agreement, Spencer to testify at any trial related to Moore's death. A tentative sentencing date has been scheduled for Nov. 17, but it more than likely will be pushed back as it will take time to bring the third man to trial.

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