Shooter in Chester hospital death pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter

UPDATE: William Graham pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and weapons charges Monday morning. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. More details here.

ORIGINAL STORY: More than four years after a shooting death outside Chester’s hospital emergency room that followed a shooting melee at a Chester nightclub, the man accused of the killing is scheduled to go on trial Monday for murder. The defendant also faces attempted murder charges in York County.

William Graham, 25, is charged with shooting Derek Chalk while in the breezeway outside the Chester Regional Medical Center ER in September 2010. Indictments allege that police “received statements from subjects who witnessed the shooting” who identified Graham as the shooter. Graham also faces two weapons charges.

A murder conviction carries a minimum of 30 years to life in prison.

Doug Barfield, 6th Circuit Solicitor, confirmed that the trial is scheduled to start Monday but declined to comment on the case. Jack Swerling, Graham’s lawyer, could not be reached for comment.

Swerling successfully defended a York man in a 2009 murder trial where the defendant was accused of shooting another man during an alleged gang incident. Swerling also successfully defended former York County Coroner Doug McKown on drug charges in 2008.

Graham had been on bond since late 2010. Court documents show that he was required to be under electronic monitoring and confined to his parents’ York County home, but he was arrested in two different incidents.

In one, he was charged with domestic violence and weapon possession in 2013 but was allowed by a judge to remain on bond despite objections from prosecutors. Then, last month, Graham was charged with two counts of attempted murder and other charges after a shooting outside a store south of York. Graham and his brother, also a convicted felon on probation after drug and weapons convictions, and another man are accused of involvement in the shooting. They fled from police but later were caught.

Graham has been jailed in York since the Labor Day shooting. The trial in Chester, however, will focus solely on the 2010 incident where Chalk was killed.

In the 2010 incident, police and prosecutors have said in documents and previous court hearings that arguments and fights between rival groups identified as gangs started at Studio 72 club in Chester. Four people were shot outside the club, and one of them, Antonio Price, died of his wounds. One shooter from the nightclub incident pleaded guilty in the earlier hearing.

After the shootings outside the nightclub, police said, Chalk was taking victims into the emergency room when he was shot and killed.

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