Suspect pleads guilty for lying to authorities investigating Wendy's murder

Category:  News
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 at 2:35 PM

Erie resident James (Jamie) Gilmore, 23, pled guilty on Aug. 20 of lying to authorities who were investigating the Jan. 25 robbery and murder at the Edinboro area Wendy's.

Gilmore was charged in February by a federal grand jury with a one-count indictment of making false statements to the government, according to a release by the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Following the guilty plea, the office announced that Gilmore will spend four months in jail and serve one year of probation, as sentenced by Judge David S. Cercone. It reads: "When imposing sentence, Judge Cercone noted the seriousness of the matter in which Gilmore lied to investigators and Gilmore’s lengthy criminal history. The Court also noted that it was important to send a message that those who lie to law enforcement, especially during such a significant investigation, will go to jail for their efforts to obstruct the administration of justice."

According to The Meadville Tribune, Gilmore was specifically charged for lying to an FBI agent when he was questioned regarding the whereabouts of Markese Lampley, 20. Lampley is accused of fatally shooting 22-year-old Alexander Cavanah during a robbery at Wendy’s on Jan. 25. 

According to testimony given by Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) in March, Lampley was already under FBI surveillance before Jan. 25. He allegedly left his apartment, which is located on Old Zuck Road, at 12:50 p.m. and arrived to Wendy’s at 2:14 p.m. wearing a ski mask and motorcycle helmet. According to police, he was driving a red and black motorcycle.

Surveillance footage showed Lampley entering the restaurant with the motorcycle helmet still on. He did not make any verbal threats against the life of any employees present during the time of the shooting. However, he did wave around a 9mm firearm, said police testimony.

According to police, Lampley then forced a female employee back into the “safe room,” as it was referred to throughout the hearing. Cavanah and another employee named during the testimony, Aiden James, followed Lampley. Cavanah, stated PSP, jumped on Lampley’s back in an attempt to stop him. A brief altercation ensued, resulting in Lampley allegedly shooting Cavanah twice.

Cavanah was taken to UPMC Hamot where he died a few hours later.

Lampley will go on trial beginning Oct. 9 in the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County. He is being held in Erie County Prison without bail. The Court of Common Pleas criminal docket lists 35 total charges, including aggravated assault, simple assault, robbery, one count of murder of the second-degree, and one count of murder of the first-degree.

Kimberly Firestine is the Executive Editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at Additional reporting was done by Shayma Musa.

Tags: lampley

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