EASTON, Pennsylvania — Defense attorneys say they will seek dismissal of charges against two men in the shooting death of an eastern Pennsylvania nightclub disc jockey almost three years ago.
A Northampton County judge ruled Friday that Omar Robinson, 36, and Patrick Hughes, 37, will be tried together in the slaying of Ervin "DJ E" Holton, 43, of Easton, who was gunned down on a porch in Easton's south side in November 2012. Friends said Holton worked as a DJ at local events and clubs, including the restaurant owned by former boxing champ Larry Holmes.
Assistant District Attorney William Blake said prosecutors believe Hughes was "the mastermind" rather than one of the two shooters. Authorities have alleged in court documents that Hughes wanted revenge because Holton had begun dating his ex-girlfriend. Asked whether the second shooter has been identified, Blake said that is "still under investigation."
Defense attorneys for the two defendants questioned whether prosecutors have produced enough evidence to justify the charges. Robinson's attorney, Matthew Deschler, said prosecutors have offered nothing that "could possibly establish that my client had any involvement in Mr. Holton's death."
Prosecutors cite phone records showing calls in the area of the killing between the defendants and a man who authorities allege drove Holton to the area. Deschler argues that surveillance video is too grainy to prove that either man was at the scene or that a van owned by Robinson's family was involved.
Judge Jennifer Sletvold said the merits of the case can be argued later, but agreed with prosecutors that evidence in both cases is almost identical.
Hughes' attorney, Brian Monahan, has filed a motion seeking dismissal of the charges, and Deschler said he will be making the same request. Brian Monahan has also asked that the trial be moved to another county or a jury brought in from elsewhere due to pretrial publicity.