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Openings slated in fast-food restaurant robbery slaying

June 27, 2021 GMT

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — Opening statements are slated Monday in the first-degree murder trial of a man charged in the shooting death of an employee during an attempted robbery of a fast-food restaurant in northwestern Pennsylvania last year.

Markese Lampley, 21, is charged in the shooting death of 22-year-old Alexander Cavanah at the Wendy’s restaurant in Washington Township near Edinboro in January 2020. The trial has been delayed several times as result of the pandemic.

Authorities said the victim, the shift manager at the restaurant, was shot in the leg and abdomen during a struggle and died at a hospital. Authorities said the suspect was wearing a ski mask and a motorcycle helmet, but the helmet fell off during the struggle. The suspect fled on a motorcycle but officials said the vehicle was spotted at an intersection and stopped on Interstate-90.

Lampley is charged with first- and second-degree murder, robbery, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and other offenses. An Erie County judge has granted his request to represent himself, but the Erie Times-News reports that he said he will not mount a defense or even participate in the case.

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Lampley maintains that his real name is Mileage Galor Bey and that he is a “sovereign citizen” or an “indigenous citizen” outside of the jurisdiction of the court system. During jury selection, he declined to question potential jurors and repeatedly declined comment when asked by the judge if he had anything to say, the paper reported.