A father in Pennsylvania who told his son and the teen’s friends to lie to police and clean their guns after a robbery turned deadly will spend up to 18 months in prison, prosecutors said.
Stephen Strickland, 51, of Perkasie, pleaded guilty on Monday to misdemeanor counts of hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence in connection with the 2016 shooting death of 19-year-old Iziah Ramon Lewis, the Intelligencer reports.
Strickland decided not to report the attempted robbery and shooting death to police after his son, Noah, 18, and three of his friends approached him and told him about the incident. The elder Strickland then instructed his son and the other teens to wash their hands and later lie to investigators. He also helped the teens clean their guns, the newspaper reports.
A judge sentenced Strickland following his guilty plea to serve between six and 18 months in prison. He must also perform 200 hours of community service and serve a year of probation upon release.
Strickland’s son and three other teens — Christopher Pavack, 18; Carson Kimnach, 19, and Harrison Moss, 18 — met Lewis in October 2016 at a park in Perkasie under the guise of buying marijuana. Moss then fatally shot Lewis, a former Pennridge High School football player, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Pavack testified in 2016 that he heard someone yell that Lewis had a gun during the planned drug transaction, which was arranged by the foursome to steal marijuana from two drug dealers to then resell it, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.
But both planned meetings fell apart, prompting the second dealer to put the four teens in touch with Lewis. Pavack also testified that Moss fired one shot at Lewis as he approached the teens and a second as he began to run away.
Bucks County Assistant District Attorney Daniel Sweeney said authorities did not find Lewis in possession of a gun, according to the Courier Times.
Moss pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter and received a sentence of six to 12 years in state prison. Pavack, Kimnach and Strickland, meanwhile, were prosecuted in juvenile court and will be held in custody until they turn 21, the Inquirer reports.