YORK, Pa. (HPD) — Prosecutors have abandoned plans to seek the death penalty for a man who fatally shot a man and wounded a woman at a Pennsylvania movie theater nearly three years ago.
Anu-Malik Johnson, 23, is accused of killing Andre White Jr., 22, at Regal Cinemas 13 in West Manchester Township in December 2019.
The prosecution told the court it would seek the death penalty if Johnson was convicted of first-degree murder. Two years ago, a judge declined to bar them from doing so, rejecting defense arguments that there was not enough evidence and that the defendant was too young.
The York Dispatch, however, reports that the prosecution asked last week to dismiss their request to impose the death penalty, based on a defense report and “relevant laws and instructions given to the jury.”
Defense attorney Jonathan White praised the decision, saying “I believed and hoped” that the prosecution would drop the death penalty.
“I think they made the right decision,” White said, declining to give details of the report in question.
Kyle King, a spokesman for the prosecution, declined to comment, saying the firm does not comment on “unfinished business.”
According to witnesses, Andre White spoke to Johnson and another man on his way to his seat, but Johnson then walked up to White and shot him. According to the police, the victim was hit five times.