York man acquitted in neighbor's slaying over shed argument
By From Wire Reports
Published: Saturday, March 16, 2013, 2:30 p.m.
Spencer “Lee” Newcomer IV was acquitted of all charges at his homicide trial that ended with a verdict at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Newcomer's side of the courtroom erupted in cheers and sobs when the verdict was read.
He had been charged with first- and third-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter for the June 10 shooting death of his neighbor, David Wintermyer, after a months-long feud.
York County District Attorney Tom Kearney left the courtroom after Wintermyer's family, stopping to say it was a “well-tried case.”
Defense attorney Chris Ferro said he was “speechless” and “overjoyed.”
Ferro had not pushed for a conviction on the lesser charge of voluntary defense. He, in fact, told the jury in his closing argument that it was “not a case of murder or manslaughter.”
Instead, he maintained Newcomer, 43, was justified in using deadly force against Wintermyer.
“It was an all or nothing case,” Ferro said, following the verdict.
In his closing statement, Kearney admitted Wintermyer, 47, was a bully.
“Guilty,” Kearney had said. “But that doesn't mean he deserves to be killed.”
“I don't think he had a choice based up the mountain of evidence,” Ferro said of Kearney's admission about the dead man.
The jury deliberated about five hours before returning a verdict.
After the jurors were released, Judge Richard K. Renn ordered Newcomer to be discharged.
Newcomer hugged Ferro and other family members before being returned to York County Prison, where he has been held without bail since his arrest, for his formal release from custody.
During the trial, several eyewitnesses, mostly neighbors, testified that Newcomer and Wintermyer had argued about a dilapidated, termite-infested shed in Newcomer's back yard. After the disagreement on the morning of the shooting, Newcomer began to drive away but backed up, got out of his truck and fatally shot Wintermyer, they testified.
Those eyewitnesses told jurors that Wintermyer had his hands in the air, as if gesturing or speaking with them, and that he never reached toward the pockets of his cargo shorts before he was shot.
Newcomer testified that Wintermyer, a former Marine, did reach into his front pocket and was pulling out something black. Newcomer said he was afraid it was a gun, so he fired because he believed Wintermyer would kill him.
Testimony revealed Wintermyer wasn't armed when he was killed. He was shot three times in the chest and once in the middle of his back.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former postmaster pleads guilty
- Pa. to vie for Boeing plant
- Bill would require disclaimer on Liquor Control Board ads
- Lawmakers propose removing state judges from Pennsylvania ballots
- Mother, daughter killed in buggy crash identified
- Grants aren’t the same old payouts, Corbett says
- Pa. higher ed chief Brogan poised to reinvent system
- Older volunteers leave big shoes to fill
- ‘Moving Memorial’ on way to Somerset, drives home dangers of DUI
- ‘12 Days of Christmas’ items top $114K