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Chester man sentenced 26 to 55 years for fatally shooting the victim in his own home

Media, Pa -- Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland announced today that Yusef Braheem Deshields, 41, was convicted of third-degree murder and sentenced 26 to 55 years in state prison for fatally shooting 40-year old George Harris on the morning of Sunday, October 1, 2017, over a dispute involving the price of narcotics, that occurred at the victim’s home on the 1400 block of Kerlin Street in Chester.

Yusef Braheem Deshields, 41, of the 1700 block of West 7th Street in Chester, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and robbery, both felonies of the first degree, before Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge George A. Pagano, who sentenced the defendant to 26 to 55 years in state prison. The investigation was led by Detective Victor Heness of the Chester Police Department and Detective Vincent Ficchi of the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Homicide Unit and the case was prosecuted by Delaware County Assistant District Attorney Ashleigh Latonick.

On Sunday, October 1, 2017, at approximately 9:10 a.m., the Chester Police Department responded to the 1400 block of Kerlin Street for a report of a shooting victim inside of a residence. There, Yusef Deshields told police that, “George Harris is inside and hurt.” The victim, George Harris, was located inside, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

Following a protective sweep of the house, police officers located multiple cameras both inside and outside of the residence with multiple cut wires, in what appeared to be an effort by someone to disable a security system. An investigation was immediately launched into the shooting by Chester Police Department and the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division. As part of the investigation, CID Detective Edmond Pisani recovered video surveillance footage from the residence. In reviewing the footage, Deshields was seen standing on the front porch holding a cup of coffee at about 8:48 a.m. The video then shows Deshields being let into the house.

CID Detective Ficchi and Chester Detective Heness interviewed Yusef Deshields at Chester Police Department. According to Deshields, he went to the victim’s home to purchase Percocet pills. After he was let into the house by the victim, George Harris, an argument ensued between the two men over the cost of the drugs. Deshields and the victim began fighting through the first floor of the residence, at which time the victim went for his weapon, which was located under the sofa cushion in the living room. The victim and Deshields fought over the gun, and Deshields took it from the victim, George Harris. He told detectives that he then shot the victim three to five times. Deshields then searched the victim’s home for the Percocet pills and told detectives he then realized the victim had surveillance cameras and began to cut wires leading to the DVR system, in an effort to disable security footage. Deshields then exited the property through the front door and fled, and claimed to have hidden the gun in the basement of his residence on the 1700 block of West 7th Street. He also told detectives that he changed his clothes after leaving his residence and discarded them in a nearby dumpster.

“In the case of Yusef Braheem Deshields, he shot and killed the victim on a Sunday morning, in his own home, over a senseless argument. He now faces a lengthy prison sentence for killing a member of his own community,” said District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland. “While we are satisfied with this conviction and sentence, we know that that this guilty verdict will not bring back the victim, George Harris, or undo the emotional trauma and pain caused to his family. I would like to commend the investigative work of Detective Victor Heness of the Chester Police Department and CID Detective Vincent Ficchi along with Assistant District Attorney Ashleigh Latonick who prosecuted this case.”

OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
DELAWARE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
MEDIA, PENNSYLVANIA 19063
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610-891-4161

KATAYOUN M. COPELAND JOSEPH A. RYAN
DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHIEF OF DETECTIVES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: January 7, 2019
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610-891-4252