Brandon Thompson

Brandon Thompson

NORRISTOWN — A Reading man who was on parole for a previous conviction for murder faces new charges for his alleged role in the gunshot slaying of a man during a home invasion robbery in Norristown.

Rashaan Aaron “Heavy” Stevenson, 34, of the 500 block of Walnut Street, was arraigned on Friday before District Court Judge Gregory Scott in Norristown on charges of first-, second- and third-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, burglary, robbery, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and possession of an instrument of crime in connection with his alleged role in the April 2, 2019, gunshot slaying of Alonzo J. Anthony in Norristown.

Stevenson was remanded to the county jail in Lower Providence without bail to await a Nov. 4 preliminary hearing on the charges before District Court Judge Margaret Hunsicker.

Stevenson is the second man charged in connection with Anthony’s slaying.

In September 2019, authorities arrested Brandon M. “B-Dubb” Thompson, 33, who listed addresses in the 100 block of Main Street, Harleysville, and the 300 block of James Street, Norristown, on murder-related charges in connection with the alleged homicide. Thompson is currently awaiting trial on the charges in Montgomery County Court.

An investigation began about 10:53 p.m. April 2, 2019, when Norristown police responded to a report of “gunshots and screaming” at an apartment in the 300 block of East Fornance Street, according to a criminal complaint filed by county Detective William Mitchell and Norristown Detective Charles Leeds.

Officers found Anthony, 28, in an apartment hallway, dead from gunshot wounds.

An autopsy determined Anthony died as a result of multiple gunshots. A projectile was recovered from Anthony’s head, according to the criminal complaint.

A woman who resided with Anthony was present during the alleged home invasion robbery, according to detectives. The woman told detectives two masked men armed with guns entered the apartment and fired gunshots, striking Anthony. Two children also were inside the apartment at the time and were not injured, according to court papers.

The female witness told detectives that Anthony sold Percocet pills and marijuana and around the time of the alleged homicide Anthony either just ran out or had just replenished his supply of Percocet pills, according to the arrest affidavit.

The alleged intruders fled from the residence with cash, marijuana and a cellphone, according to the criminal complaint.

Detectives recovered two fired and one unfired 9mm caliber cartridge casings at the scene. Detectives also collected video surveillance footage from the area of the crime scene, according to court papers.

According to the surveillance footage, within a minute of the 911 call, one suspect was observed running from East Fornance Street onto Green Valley Road along a fence line and then onto westbound Wood Street. Three minutes later, a second suspect was observed running in the same direction along the fence line and then across a parking lot to Wood Street, according to the criminal complaint. The second suspect was observed removing clothing while fleeing.

Investigators found a black, knit hat on Green Valley Road near East Fornance Street along the fence line of the Church of God, according to the arrest affidavit.

“The black knit hat contained crude hole cuttings in the eye and mouth area. These cuttings would allow the hat to also be used as a mask,” Mitchell and Leeds alleged in the criminal complaint, adding the hat was submitted to a state police crime lab for DNA testing.

State police subsequently issued a report indicating the DNA tests linked the hat to Thompson.

The DNA results from the cutting of the knit hat were from the mouth area where an individual would breathe, sweat and salivate, according to court papers.

When detectives interviewed Thompson on Aug. 31, he claimed he had known Anthony for about eight years and that he previously bought Percocet pills from Anthony but that he had never been inside Anthony’s residence, according to court documents.

Thompson allegedly told detectives that although he did not remember where he was on April 2, “he claimed he was not in the area of Anthony’s residence on the night of the homicide.”

“Thompson denied ever owning or wearing the hat and could not explain how his DNA was on the hat,” Mitchell and Leeds alleged.

During the investigation, witnesses told detectives Thompson is a drug addict and has been using Perocet pills and PCP and that he previously obtained Percocet from Anthony, according to court papers.

“The evidence suggests that Thompson was familiar with the location of Alonzo Anthony’s residence and he previously purchased narcotics from the victim,” detectives alleged in the arrest affidavit. “Thompson further denied ever wearing the black hat or being in the area at the time of the homicide. This is refuted by the DNA evidence indicating his participation in this homicide.”

When detectives analyzed the contents of Thompson’s cellphone they uncovered numerous calls between Thompson and Stevenson, according to court papers. Stevenson’s height and weight matched the description, provided by witnesses, of the second actor involved in the home invasion and the first actor observed in surveillance footage fleeing the area, according to the criminal complaint.

Cellphone data and cell tower analysis found that Stevenson’s cellphone traveled in unison with Thompson’s cellphone during the evening hours prior to and after the alleged April 2 home invasion that resulted in Anthony’s death, according to the arrest affidavit. Detectives alleged cellular data and Google geolocation information showed Thompson and Stevenson were together prior to and leading up to the homicide and immediately after the homicide.

Detectives determined that at the time of the alleged fatal home invasion, Stevenson was being supervised by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole stemming from a 2006 murder conviction, according to court documents.

Stevenson pleaded guilty to third-degree murder on March 2, 2006, and was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison in connection with the Jan. 17, 2005, shooting death of Michael McCray in Norristown. At the time, according to court testimony, authorities alleged Stevenson arranged a meeting with McCray under the guise of a drug deal and acted as a lookout for three other men who went inside McCray’s East Moore Street residence to rob him, during which McCray was fatally shot during a struggle.

Stevenson was paroled on April 6, 2016, and relocated to Reading where he worked at a barbershop, according to court documents.

The new case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Roderick M. Fancher III and co-prosecutor Furrah Qureshi.

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