It began with a typical 21st Century stroke of criminal genius, and ended with a bullet to the brain, although the denouement is still playing out in the courts. Philly.com:
at about 9 p.m. June 26, 2011, [Mark] Sanders, [Chancier] McFarland and a third man drove to Green Street near 40th in Powelton. As part of the robbery plan, the third man responded to a Craigslist ad to buy a Suzuki dirt bike and agreed to meet the seller on Green Street. McFarland acted as a lookout as Sanders and the third man approached the seller.
After the third man pretended to inspect the dirt bike on the porch of a home, Sanders drew a gun from his waistband and pointed it at the seller and two of the seller’s relatives. Sanders’ co-conspirator, who was inspecting the bike, then drove it away.
Meanwhile, another relative of the seller saw what was going on and took out his legally owned firearm and pointed it at Sanders, telling him to stop.
Sanders instead pointed his gun at that man, who then fired in self-defense, hitting Sanders in the right temple. After Sanders collapsed, the man who shot him called police.
Coached by his sleazebag attorney, one Rocco “Consiglieri” Cipparone, Sanders threw out all the usual mouthpiece-says-I-gotta phony stuff: he’s now found Jesus, he’s sorry he did it (or at least, that he got shot, and caught), and, magnanimously, he’s over being angry at the guy who shot him for just trying to kill him for a motorcycle. Cipparone had all the usual arguments why his current pet pathogen shouldn’t go back in the freezer: he’s already suffering and will suffer for all his life. Don’t put him in jail, argued Cipparone: “[H]e put himself in his own prison of blindness.”
“He will walk blind for the rest of his life. He will eat blind for the rest of his life. He will drink blind for the rest of his life.”
Yeah. Pity this crumb lived. He could have found Jesus before trying to murder somebody for a crap motorbike; but they never do that.
The prosecutor had a few points of argument, too:
Sanders, when he had his gun pointed at the victims, had the gun’s hammer cocked and could easily have fired it.
Sanders has “steadfastly refused” to identify to law enforcement who his accomplices were.
And then, there’s Sanders’s own lengthy violent criminal history. Including this:
In 2010, when Sanders was being arrested for marijuana possession, he grabbed the wire cord of the cop’s radio and wrapped it around the officer’s neck, suffocating him. It wasn’t until the officer was able to grab his gun that Sanders stopped suffocating him and fled.
So he’s not exactly a cherry at the attacking-people gig. And it turns out that there’s another attacked-cop nexus in the case.
Sanders’s accomplice Chancier McFarland and another hood rat named Rafael Jones:
…robbed and killed off-duty Police Officer Moses Walker Jr. on Aug. 18, 2012, in North Philly.
McFarland is now 22 years old; he was twenty when he and Jones (who was 24) murdered Walker.
Rafael Jones’s brother Jerome Jones is suspected (and was indicted, but the prosecutor dropped the case) of being the third man in the motorcycle robbery.
On the bright side, the police seem to have recognized the shooting from the start as an open-and-shut case of self defense, and the defender does not seem to have been prosecuted.
It was unpossible for any of these guys to get guns, because they were all felons, several were too young to buy in a store, and their state, Pennsylvania, requires all handgun transfers to go through an FFL and has for years.
Yet somehow these four contemptible young wastes of sperm and egg managed to gun up anyway. Imagine that.