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Man to serve up to 46 years for York crack house slaying

| Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, 8:06 p.m.

YORK — A central Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to 20 to 46 years in prison in the death of a man who authorities said complained about the quality of drugs he was sold in a York crack house.

Bruce Williams Jr., 19, of York was convicted of third-degree murder last summer in the November 2011 shooting death of Jesse Heverling, 32, of Dover.

Prosecutors said Heverling was gunned down for arguing with Williams about the quality of the crack cocaine he had purchased.

Williams, who was 17 at the time, was sentenced to 17 to 40 years on the murder count and a consecutive three to six years on a weapons charge. He said in court on Thursday that he was “sorry for the loss” of the victim.

Defense attorney Dawn Cutaia sought a sentence of 15 to 30 years, saying she wanted her client to be young enough when released to attempt to have a productive life.

“He may have done a very adult thing, but he is still a little kid,” she said.

Judge Richard Renn said he had to make a judgment about a defendant's character but had heard little to convince him that Williams was “a good person caught in bad circumstances.”

He cited the defendant's juvenile record, “significant” run-ins with the law and “antisocial” behavior while in prison.

Chief deputy prosecutor David Maisch said the juvenile system had given Williams a chance to turn himself around but he continued down a path that made him a danger to society.

“The system did not fail him,” Maisch said. “He failed the system.”

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