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Traffic stop, tip from citizen lead to arrests in connection with Chambersburg shooting death

August 19, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- A Saturday traffic stop by the Chambersburg Police Department and a tip from a concerned citizen led to a charge of criminal homicide being filed against an 18-year-old borough man in the Aug. 6 shooting death of Timothy A. Short.

V'Cetres D. Buckner, of 207 Larch Ave., also was charged with felony counts of robbery, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy, police said. A second man, Derrick Wimberley, 22, of Chambersburg, was charged with illegal possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number. Police said he bought from Buckner the stolen gun used in the shooting, police said.

Buckner was being held without bond Monday on the homicide and robbery charges, and on $250,000 bail on the other charges, according to Magisterial District Judge Gary Carter's office. Wimberley was being held on $50,000 bail, according to jail records.

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A third man, Luis F. Rosa, 19, of 401 W. Catherine St., also was charged in the theft of the handgun, police said. Rosa was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Gary Carter on charges of criminal conspiracy to commit theft, receiving stolen property and discharging a firearm.

The body of Short, 42, of Hood Street, was found on the morning of Aug. 6 behind 10 Hemlock Circle, dead of a gunshot wound to the face. Residents reported having heard a shot fired at about 2 a.m. but did not report it to police and the body was not found until about six hours later.

No wallet or identification was found on Short's body, but a set of keys was found that went with a motorcycle parked on Redwood Street, police said. The owner of the motorcycle was contacted and told police Short was using it, leading to identification of the body, police said.

A spent .40-caliber shell casing also was found near the body, police said.

Police received a tip from a concerned citizen on Aug. 11 that Buckner had been seen on Aug. 5 with a handgun similar to the type reported stolen on Aug. 4 from Shawn Spidell of 347 E. McKinley St., police said.

Spidell told police the Springfield Armory .40-caliber semiautomatic was stolen between 4:30 p.m. Aug. 3 and 9 a.m. Aug. 4. The affidavit of probable cause in Rosa's case stated that he was with Buckner when the gun was stolen from the console of Spidell's Chevrolet Trailblazer, which was parked behind his home.

A tip to police on Monday led to Rosa being charged, according to the affidavit. After stealing the gun and a GPS system from the Trailblazer, he and Buckner went to Rosa's former apartment on South Main Street and Rosa fired the gun once in a backyard on the 200 block of South Main Street, police said.

On Saturday, police stopped a vehicle driven by Wimberley's girlfriend and found the handgun in a backpack, police said. The woman was pulled over for a minor traffic violation, police said.

"We did not have information previous to that that he would be in possession of the weapon," Chambersburg Detective Sgt. Dianne Kelso said Monday. Police questioned Wimberley, leading to Buckner being identified as the person who sold him the gun, she said.

Wimberley purchased the gun from Buckner for $300 on Aug. 14 at a residence in the 300 block of South Hackberry Drive, police said. Wimberley did not know Buckner by name, but identified him from a photograph, police said.

Two detectives had Buckner and a 17-year-old boy under surveillance at the time gun the was being sold to Wimberley. Buckner and the boy rode bicycles to and from the house, police said.

Chambersburg police stated that Wimberley was not permitted to possess a firearm because of previous convictions. In January 2004, Wimberley was charged with criminal conspiracy and several drug-related charges in Pottstown, Pa., according to court documents.

Buckner was interviewed by police on Sunday. Police said he admitted to stealing the gun from Spidell's vehicle and using it to shoot Short after first robbing him of his wallet.

The theft, receiving and criminal conspiracy charges against Buckner stem from the theft of Spidell's handgun, police said.

Buckner's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 26 in Franklin County Central Court, according to Carter's office.

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