Update: Lampley, accused in Wendy's shooting and robbery, appears in preliminary hearing

Category:  News
Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 at 10:27 PM
Update: Lampley, accused in Wendy's shooting and robbery, appears in preliminary hearing by Shayma Musa

Markese D. Lampley, accused of fatally shooting 22-year-old Alexander Cavanah during a robbery at the Washington Township Wendy’s on Jan. 25, appeared in McKean court Friday for his preliminary hearing. Magisterial District Judge Denise Stuck-Lewis held Lampley for trial on all charges, including: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, aggravated assault, robbery, reckless endangerment, carrying a firearm without license, and fleeing police.

According to testimony given by Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), Lampley, 20, 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.

According to trooper testimony, 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.
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.

After the hearing, Lampley’s attorney Bruce Sandmeyer said in an interview with the press: “We’re just beginning to gather evidence; we need to take a look at what has been given to us and then we can determine if we need to consult with any experts. It looks like there is going to be quite a bit of forensic evidence here, and again it’s just so soon in the process. This was a preliminary hearing and it’s a probable cause hearing, and again we are just starting.”

During the testimony by PSP, it was noted that several pieces of forensic evidence, including the gun retrieved by police at Lampley’s apartment, had yet not been released from testing yet.

In the days after the shooting Wendy’s opened its doors once again. Over the course of two days (Jan. 29-30), the restaurant donated all proceeds to the Cavanah family. He is survived by his wife and two children.

The total amount of proceeds given to the family was not disclosed by the restaurant. A GoFundMe page set up to benefit the Cavanah family raised $4,700.

The next court date has not been set. Lampley is being held in Erie County Prison without bond.

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