The trial of a man accused of murdering a neighbor in a dispute over dog droppings continues today in a Philadelphia courtroom.
Tyrirk Harris, 28, is facing murder and weapons charges in the Valentine’s Day slaying of Franklin Santana, 47. Police said Harris shot Santana in the face and body after Santana complained that Harris had allowed his dog to defecate on Santana’s lawn.
The men lived on the 6500 block of Torresdale Ave., police said. Arresting officers said Harris fired several shots at Santana with a 9 mm handgun. Paramedics pronounced Santana dead at the scene.
Santana, a Yonkers, N.Y., native, had moved to the block with his girlfriend and two children about a month prior to the shooting. Harris had been laid off from a job as a school district police officer and did not have a license to carry a gun, Assistant District Attorney Deborah Watson-Stokes said during Harris’ preliminary hearing in April.
On Tuesday, after a jury was selected and prosecution and defense attorneys made opening arguments, two eyewitnesses and Assistant Medical Examiner Marlon Osbourne testified. The prosecutor said she expected to present forensic evidence today. Depending on witnesses called by defense lawyer James Berardinelli, Watson-Stokes said, attorneys might make their closing statements by Thursday.
The trial is proceeding before Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara A. McDermott in Courtroom 1108 of the Criminal Justice Center, 13th and Filbert streets.