WILLIAM SPORT — A man found guilty of wounding four people outside a Williamsport night club more than a year ago has been sentenced to 27½ to 55 years in state prison.
Lycoming County Judge Marc F. Lovecchio Wednesday told Michael Rakeem Spencer his conduct put people in danger of losing their lives.
The judge called the evidence overwhelming that early on April 18, 2015, following a disagreement inside a night club in the city’s downtown, Spencer got a pistol.
Then, he said, in an alley outside just after the club closed, he started firing toward the other man, not hitting him but wounding four innocent people.
Assistant District Attorney Martin Wade, in arguing for a sentence of 40 to 80 years, remarked “shooting down an ally is like bumper bowling, you’re going to hit something.”
Several of the victims are serving life sentences of pain and discomfort, he said. Lovecchio read statements from two of them on how the shooting had affected their lives.
The prosecutor also claimed Spencer lied when testified during his July trial that ended with guilty verdicts on 12 counts including attempted homicide, aggravated and simple assault and recklessly endangering.
Spencer was acquitted on aggravated and simple assault charges involving a fifth victim.
The day after the jury verdict, Lovecchio found him guilty in a non-jury trial of illegal possession of a firearm and carrying a firearm without a license.
Spencer, 34, who moved from Philadelphia to Williamsport nine months before the shooting reportedly to find a better life, asked the judge to give him a chance to be a father. He has five children with four different women.
Lovecchio called the shooting an example of a culture of violence and the availability of guns he sees often in his courtroom.
The words Spencer had inside the Imbibe Lounge and Night Venue were not near a provocation to get a gun and start shooting, he said.
“You just stood up and pulled off six rounds as if it were nothing,” Lovecchio said.
The shooting has given people a reason not to come downtown, the judge said. A tearful Imbibe owner Jade Kinley testified the shooting has nearly put her out of business because of fewer patrons.
Although Spencer apologized to the victims, Lovecchio said he did not detect remorse or regret.
He referred to Spencer telling the preparer of the presentence report that since no one died, he shouldn’t be taken away from his children.
Lovecchio ran consecutive the terms on the four aggravated assault counts, one for each victim, because “each deserves justice.”
The defense asked for a sentence with a minimum of no more than 20 years.