A man convicted of second-degree murder for his role in the 2007 killing of a West Donegal Township man is the last person from Lancaster County to get a new sentence because of U.S. Supreme Court ruling that bans mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders.
Emru Kebede was 16 when he and three men shot and killed 65-year-old Ray Diener, a respected business and family man, on the doorstep of his West Donegal Township home during a botched robbery on May 2, 2007.
He was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder — a killing done in the commission of another serious crime, such as robbery — in a jury trial. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Miller v. Alabama that it is unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile offender to mandatory life without parole. Kebede’s resentencing was scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3, before Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker. Kebede is the last of 12 people to be resentenced in Lancaster County because of the court ruling.
The triggerman, Abraham Sanchez Jr., who was 20 at the time, was sentenced to death and remains on death row.
According to newspaper records, Kebede and the three men picked the Diener home at random, luring him to the front door and telling him their car had broken down.
They intended to force their way into the house, but Sanchez instead shot Diener three times and the four fled the scene, leaving Diener to die on the porch.
Three weeks after the shooting, a call to the Lancaster City-County Crime Stoppers tip line led police to arrest the three men and Kebede.
The other men — Lorenzo Schrijver and Robert M. Baker — each pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy. Murder in the third degree is a killing committed with malice but without premeditation.
Schrijver, who was 21 when Diener was killed, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison, and Baker, who was 20, was sentenced to 25 to 50 years.