Getaway driver in South Philly robbery-murder gets 35 to 70 years in prison

Posted: January 17, 2014

ANTHONY DeMarco Jr. and Kevin Williams were about the same age and both were Philadelphia residents Oct. 20, 2010 - but that's where the similarities end.

DeMarco, 20, had just finished requirements to become a union carpenter and often helped elderly neighbors in his South Philly community, his mother, Maryann DeMarco, said in court yesterday.

Williams, then 19, had sold drugs since 17, had completed a juvenile-probation sentence a month earlier and had recently ditched a roofing apprenticeship program.

After DeMarco and Williams crossed paths that night at 11:30 p.m. on Jackson Street, the two strangers would forever be linked in the worst way.

DeMarco, walking with two friends, was fatally shot by two robbers. Williams sat watching in the getaway car.

"Unfortunately, that day we had thugs on the street that wanted to do somebody," Maryann DeMarco said.

Williams, 23, his voice barely audible, yesterday apologized for his part in DeMarco's murder before being sentenced to 35 to 70 years in state prison.

He was convicted at trial in November of third-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy.

Codefendant Dawud Abdul-Hakim, 22, who wrestled with DeMarco and tossed the gun to the triggerman, was convicted of second-degree murder and related counts. He was previously sentenced to life without parole.

The unidentified gunman, who remains at large, fired multiple shots into DeMarco's back as he fought Abdul-Hakim.

Anthony DeMarco Sr. told the court that his surviving child, Domenic, 12, is now a lonely only child. He lamented that courts are too easy on thugs like those that killed his son.

"They didn't have to kill him that night. They could have wounded him, shot him in the leg. But to empty the gun - it's unacceptable," Anthony Sr. said.

Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Juliano Coelho asked for a sentence of 40 to 80 years.

In the months leading up to the murder, she noted, Williams not only dropped out of the roofing program but also dropped out of a drug-treatment program.

Williams' juvenile probation sentence ended Sept. 15, Coelho said, about a month before he took part in DeMarco's murder.

Defense attorney Gina Capuano said Williams never got out of the car during the robbery-turned murder and never intended for anyone to die. Williams' mother, father and other relatives who attended the hearing were too nervous to address the court, Capuano said.

- Staff writer Julie Shaw

contributed to this report

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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