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Twelve people died by homicide in 2019 in Lancaster County, one more than in 2018.

Nine adults and one juvenile have been charged with criminal homicide for their roles in the deaths of eight of the people.

Homicide is a death at the hands of another person. Prosecutors decide if a homicide is a crime. LNP's count does not include homicide by vehicle cases; those are listed in our traffic death tally, which will run at a later date.

No arrests have been made in two of the homicides, and one case was moved to juvenile court.

No charges were filed in one of the homicides after it was ruled a justifiable shooting.


Criminal homicides

• Javen T. Jackson, 21, of New Holland, was charged with criminal homicide in the death of Thomas Blackwell, 59.

Blackwell, of Terre Hill, died on Nov. 14, three days after falling from his truck while trying to stop Jackson from taking it, police said.

• Rahmir Isaiah Hopkins, 14, of Lancaster, was charged with criminal homicide in the Oct. 9 shooting death of Luis A. Perez, 25, of Lancaster, at South Lime and Juniata streets in Lancaster city.

• Raymond L. Speller, 38, of Lancaster, was charged with criminal homicide in the Sept. 23 shooting death of Pedro Almodovar, 36, of Lancaster, on Howard Street in Lancaster city.

• James Sterbinksy, 56, of Lancaster, was charged with criminal homicide in the July 18 fatal stabbings of his sister Christine Ross, 53, and Ross’ 20-year-old daughter Autumn, both of Lancaster, at a High Street apartment in Lancaster city .

• Shawn Nasim Connelly, 20, of Lancaster, was charged with criminal homicide in the June 16 shooting death of Anthony Marshall, 44, of Harrisburg, on Lafayette Street in Lancaster city.

• Ryan Rivera, 22, Brian Jonah Paltan, 22, and Vladimir Junior Paltan, 28, all of Lancaster, were charged with one count each of criminal homicide in the May 30 shooting death of Tyreek Shyheim Gardner, 22, of Lancaster, in the 500 block of East Chestnut Street in Lancaster city.

• Matthew VanZandt, 30, of Bartonsville, Monroe County, was charged with criminal homicide in the March 6 fatal stabbing of Ian Shannon, 31, in Shannon’s Lancaster Township apartment.


Case moved to juvenile court

• The case of Antonio Acosta, 17, who was charged with fatally shooting Nicholas Mills, 19, on July 29 in Columbia was moved to juvenile court after police dropped a third-degree murder charge against him.


Unsolved homicides

Police have not made arrests in two cases they are investigating as homicides.

• Khristopher Wade, 26, of York, died at a hospital on Oct. 15, 12 days after police said he was punched and fell in the Village Night Club parking lot in Lancaster city.

• Benjamin Omas Ramos, 16, of Lancaster, died June 12 after police said he was stabbed in the 900 block of Freemont Street in Lancaster city.


Justified shooting

• The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office ruled the April 27 shooting death of Tony Torrellas, 31, was justified.

Prosecutors cited the Castle Doctrine in their decision not to charge the unidentified male shooter. The doctrine states deadly force can be used against intruders in certain circumstances.

Torrellas, of Lancaster, was fatally shot as he entered the Lancaster city home police said he was told repeatedly not to enter.