A Lancaster man pleaded guilty Friday to shooting two brothers - killing one of them – after a “petty dispute” last year at a Lancaster city bar.
Alexander Cruz, 35, will serve the rest of his life in prison for what a prosecutor called the “truly senseless” killing of Marcus McCain outside O’Halloran’s Pub on Fairview Avenue.
Lancaster County Judge Donald Totaro sentenced Cruz to an additional 20 to 40 years for wounding McCain’s brother, following a “minor, petty dispute” inside the bar on Feb. 9, 2018. The dispute involved the McCains and a friend of Cruz’s.
Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson said Marcus McCain was “loved by many” and killed in a “truly senseless crime.”
Wendy McCain, mother of the McCain brothers, said Cruz did not even know the man he killed.
“This just makes absolutely no sense,” Judge Totaro said while ordering sentence. “You are never going to see the outside of a prison cell.”
Cruz pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, attempted homicide and related gun charges in exchange for the sentence.
Albert McCain, the victims’ father, called Cruz a “very violent man” and that he would have been in favor of the death penalty, even though he agreed with the sentence imposed.
Prosecutors had filed notice of intent to seek a sentence of death, had the case gone to trial.
McCain’s sister, who read a letter written by Marcus’ widow and the mother of his children, said Marcus never got to meet his youngest daughter – born after he passed away.
“Time in prison doesn’t replace the life of a human being,” Kiana McCain read from the letter.
Marcus McCain was shot multiple times in the torso; his brother was shot in the lower body.
The entire group was ejected from the bar prior to Cruz pulling a .380-caliber pistol outside. Prior felony convictions prevented Cruz from legally having a gun, Anderson said.
Albert McCain thanked the Lancaster city police for making a quick arrest in the case and the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office staff for keeping his family informed throughout the court process.
Several investigators from the city police department, including Chief Jarrad Berkihiser, sat in court for the plea.
Lancaster city police Officer Richard Mendez, who also attended, filed charges.
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