LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.– A Lancaster man, who is serving decades for a killing a man in 2015, will not get a new trial, a judge ruled this week.
Stefon Landing fatally shot 22-year-old Devonte Gantt during a drug robbery in Lancaster city on January 4, 2015.
After being convicted, Landing was sentenced to serve 22½ to 45 years in prison for third-degree murder and related counts.
After previously appealing for a new trial, and being denied, Landing filed another appeal that was denied by Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker this week with the following reasoning:
- The prosecutor’s theory was based on Landing, according to his own testimony, having a loaded firearm – cocked and with the safety off.
- Polling the jury (requesting each member to verbalize their verdict individually) would have served no purpose in changing the guilty verdict.
- A manslaughter instruction would have gone against the defense’s theory: that Landing fired in self-defense.
- Landing, Gantt and Amos Clay III met in the 700 block of High Street for an arranged drug buy. Landing told acquaintances that he planned to rob Gantt, but was surprised that Clay had come along with Gantt for the transaction, according to testimony. Landing tried to snatch the marijuana from Gantt and shot Gantt. Clay returned fire, wounding Landing. Landing shot Clay in the leg.