PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the defense tries to change the field of play, a highly recruited high school football player, charged with robbing a South Philadelphia Wawa convenience store at which his brother worked, has waived his preliminary hearing. His brother also appeared, as a co-defendant.
A Wawa employee testified while she and 24-year-old Quasir Wingate were in the office last July, a gunman with a hoodie pulled over his head walked in and pointed a gun at her head. Wingate opened the safe and handed the gunman more than $13,000.
Prosecutors allege the gunman was Wingate’s brother, then 17-year-old Isheem Young, a senior running back from Imhotep Charter, once recruited by Penn State and more than two dozen schools.
Defense lawyer Richard Klineburger is trying to punt the case from the Criminal Justice Center to juvenile court.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Gehrke says a judge will decide whether to “decertify.”
“That judge will determine whether he’s tried as an adult or whether he’ll go back to the juvenile system,” Gehrke said.
Wingate rejected a plea arrangement conveyed by the DA’s office to plead guilty and serve nearly two-years in prison.
Defense lawyer William Ciangalini says while the departing gunman told them to get down on their knees and count to 30, Wingate got up after ten seconds and immediately called 9-1-1.
A third man, the alleged getaway driver, agreed to plead guilty and serve nearly two years under house arrest.