2013-08-22 / Local & State

1st-Degree Murder Conviction In 2011 Pa. Slaying

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A man has been convicted of first-degree murder in a shooting death in the parking lot of a western Pennsylvania strip mall almost two years ago.

Some jurors cried as the verdict was announced early

Saturday in the case against Raymond Rivera, 37, of Arnold, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said.

Rivera testified during the Westmoreland County trial that he shot John Evans, 37, of New Kensington in selfdefense in October 2011.

“I really didn’t want to do it. I was forced to,” Rivera said. “I see him pull the gun out, and he turns around and comes at me with a gun pointed towards me, so I just pulled the trigger.”

Jurors, who deliberated for about 6 1/2 hours, also convicted him of attempted murder of a friend of the victim as well as aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm.

Assistant District Attorney Larry Koenig called the slaying “without a doubt a textbook case of deliberate, intentional murder.”

Rivera, a former professional boxer who worked as a barber, worried in a shop across the street from the clothing store where Evans worked.

Defense attorneys said they had been feuding for months, and Rivera feared Evans and his friends.

Officials said Evans had said he was having an affair with Rivera’s girlfriend, but she denied that and testified that Evans had a gun and threatened to kill her and the defendant.

The defendant faces a mandatory life term without possibility of parole.

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