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Jurors hear 911 call in New Kensington murder trial

| Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A supervisor at the Family Dollar store in New Kensington told a Westmoreland County jury she feared for her life as she huddled with another employee in a bathroom while bullets flew by just a few feet away.

During a 10-minute 911 call played to a jury on Thursday, Charlene Wilson pleaded for help after seeing a man gunned down in the parking lot outside her store on Oct. 20, 2011, in the Central City Plaza.

“People were shot. Please come quickly,” Wilson whispered to a dispatcher. She told him Raymond Rivera was the shooter.

Rivera, 37, of Arnold is on trial for first-degree murder for allegedly shooting John Evans of New Kensington and the attempted murder of Willie Young, 42, also of New Kensington.

Police said Rivera shot Evans through the neck, then Rivera turned his gun and shot Young twice as he tried to flee.

Wilson testified she saw Rivera get out of a car and make an aggressive move toward Evans.

“He took a stance, planted the back of his feet and slanted his head. He said something, then put his arm up and started shooting at the ground. By the third shot I turned ... and said, ‘Run,' ” Wilson told jurors.

The prosecution contends Rivera shot Evans because he believed he had been having an affair with his longtime girlfriend. Rivera's girlfriend, April Cevario, 45, testified for Rivera on Thursday.

She told jurors that Evans, who was known as “New York Mike,” had a gun and threatened her in the seconds before the fatal altercation.

Police officers previously testified that no weapons were found on Evans or Young or anywhere at the shooting scene.

Cevario said the encounter started as she yelled to Evans to admit there was no sexual relationship between them. Evans, she testified, ran toward her and threatened to kill Rivera.

“Mike reached out towards me, my neck, and I backed away. He reached toward me again.

“I looked at Ray, and I saw Mike with a weapon. Ray pulled up his shirt and showed his weapon. I turned around and ran away and heard shots,” Cevario testified.

The defense contends Rivera shot Evans in self-defense and presented several witnesses on Thursday who claimed the two men had prior disagreements over Cevario.

During questioning from Assistant District Attorney Larry Koenig, Cevario admitted she still loved Rivera. She testified she visited him 117 times at the jail since his arrest and spoke with him 85 times by telephone since the shootings.

Cevario will continue her testimony on Friday.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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