Harold Vincent once served as a witness to the 2012 fatal shooting of 22-year-old Gregory Gardner. However, his alleged theft of the victim's marijuana have led police to charge him with tampering with evidence in that same case.
Vincent, 20, faced the charge during a Friday morning Recorder's Court hearing. He also has been charged with first degree burglary, obstruction of law enforcement, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, bail jumping and tampering with evidence, though those charges were not discussed.
According to an earlier Ledger-Enquirer report, Gardner was killed on Sept. 4, 2012, during a drug deal that turned quickly into a robbery.
Luther Shannon Thomas, then 22, was allegedly attempting to buy marijuana from Gardner when he pulled out a gun and tried to rob him. The two fought over the gun, which went off, striking Gardner in the neck.
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Thomas pleaded guilty to manslaughter and criminal attempt armed robbery during a late August trial presided over by former Judge John Allen. The judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison with 12 to serve, the rest on probation.
Then 22-year-old Michael Frazier was with Thomas that day, but was unaware Thomas planned to rob Gardner. Frazier was charged because he drove Thomas to and from the Lenox Drive home. He pleaded guilty to criminal attempt robbery. Allen sentenced him to 10 years in prison with five to serve.
But Vincent, police later found, was the fourth person in the room the night of Gardner's death — and the first to allegedly attempt to capitalize off of the narcotics which the shooting centered around.
In the interviews following Gardner's fatal shooting, Vincent allegedly told police that he grabbed Gardner's marijuana and threw it into the woods following the shooting.
But after talking with neighbors and others in the area, officers discovered Vincent allegedly attempted to sell the bag of marijuana, bragging that he snatched it up following the homicide. The bag still had blood on it when Vincent was attempting to sell it, Deaton said.
That marijuana would have served as evidence in the case if not for the alleged theft, Deaton told the court. The quantity of the marijuana was never specified.
Vincent adamantly denied that the marijuana belonged to Gardner during Friday's hearing.
"That marijuana belonged to me," Vincent said. "I didn't take it from him. It belonged to me."
Vincent's bond amount was not immediately available. He will be heard on a first degree burglary charge during a 2 p.m. Recorder's Court hearing Friday.