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Lancaster County man convicted of 2016 home-invasion murder

Christopher Lyles was convicted of 2nd-degree murder in the death of Dennis Pitch. He is one of four men charged in the crime. Trials for the others are pending.
Credit: Lancaster County District Attorney's Office

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — A 34-year-old Lancaster County man was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder and other charges related to the death of Dennis Pitch, who was killed in a home-invasion robbery in 2016.

Christopher J. Lyles was found guilty by a Lancaster County jury after several hours of deliberation on Monday and Tuesday. The verdict came in at about 11:45 a.m.

According to evidence presented at trial, Pitch and three other men conspired to rob Pitch's Salisbury Township home on Dec. 2, 2016. 

Lyle and two other men entered the home, while the fourth man stayed at the group's vehicle. Once inside, the men shot Pitch in the head and torso, killing him, prosecutors said.

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Lyles faces a mandatory life-without-parole sentence on the second-degree murder charge when President Judge David Ashworth orders sentence after a background investigation. 

He also was convicted of six other charges: two counts each of robbery, burglary and conspiracy. 

Brandon Bills, Kristopher Smith and Michael Baker are charged with the same offenses. Their trials are pending. 

Among the evidence presented at Lyles’ trial was: 

  • Testimony from co-defendant Bills, who was with the group before and after the home invasion and stayed at the vehicle.
  • Testimony about cellphone locations that tracked the group and placed them at or around Pitch’s home at the time of the murder.
  • Testimony from a prison inmate who overheard Lyles discussing the murder.
  • Surveillance video footage of Smith’s vehicle near Pitch’s home around the time of the murder. 
  • The group believed Pitch was in possession of a large amount of cash. The group intended to take the money. 

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