Family Members of Murder Victim React to Accused Killer's Senten - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Family Members of Murder Victim React to Accused Killer's Sentencing

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For Darnell Flemings and his family members, the past year has been filled with grief. 

On January 15, 2017, his 26-year-old brother Marcell Flemings was shot and killed outside of the Shell gas station on East 6th and Parade Streets.

"It was just a senseless crime of someone doing something they should have had no business doing," said Darnell.  "He took our brother, took our mother's son, his kids won't be able to see him no more, none of that."

On Tuesday, Merle Page Jr., 27, the man charged with killing Marcell, was found guilty of third-degree murder.  The jury of 10 men and two women made the decision following one day of testimony and more than four hours of deliberations.

"Justice is served," said Marcell's mother Sherrie Taylor.  "We both lost out, but justice is served."

The violent incident was captured on surveillance video, which was shown during Page's trial. 

According to prosecutors, the chaotic scene, which lasted 26 seconds, began as a fight between the two men and ended with Page fatally shooting Flemings in the chest.  

The Erie County District Attorney's Office was seeking for a conviction of first-degree murder.

"We were pushing for life," said Erie County Assistant District Attorney Paul Sellers.  "We felt that this was a life without parole case, but we also respect the decision of the jury and understand there were a lot of factors they had to weigh."

Page's lawyer Eric Hackwelder didn't dispute the charges against Page, but asked for them to convict him of third-degree murder, which is what happened.

"From the outset, we believed this case was not premeditated," said Hackwelder.  "We didn't believe this was premeditated, which is required for first-degree murder."

Page faces 20 to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced on February 21. 

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