Accomplice in officer's murder pleads guilty; will testify against shooter

Posted: June 13, 2014

CHANCIER McFarland, one of two men charged in the August 2012 robbery and slaying of an off-duty Philadelphia police officer, pleaded guilty yesterday and agreed to testify against his co-defendant.

McFarland, 21, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy in the Aug. 18, 2012, early-morning shooting of Officer Moses Walker, 40, who had just left work in street clothes and was walking to a bus stop on Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

Under terms of the negotiated guilty plea, McFarland will serve 20 to 40 years in state prison and testify against co-defendant Rafael Jones, 24, the suspected gunman. He awaits a December jury trial and possibly faces the death penalty.

"It's time to acknowledge what he did, take responsibility for it and move on with his life and give the victim some [closure]," Jonathan Sobel, McFarland's defense attorney, said after leaving court.

McFarland, who said nothing in court except "yes" and "guilty" in response to questions from Common Pleas Judge Glenn Bronson, also pleaded guilty to taking part in two armed robberies of corner stores on the same day in February 2011.

McFarland stole Walker's iPod and headphones but did not have a gun during the ambush, said Assistant District Attorney Jude Conroy.

Walker was on his way to catch the 61 bus after he had finished his 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift at the 22nd Police District, on 17th Street near Montgomery Avenue, when Jones and McFarland robbed him, Conroy said.

"During the course of the robbery, Office Walker was shot twice: once in the chest and once in the abdominal area," Conroy said.

The bullet that pierced Walker's abdomen first went through his left hand, Conroy said, and both bullets exited his body. He fell near a vacant lot at Moore Avenue and Woodstock Street.

Jones was arrested Aug. 24, 2012. McFarland turned himself in to police in Mobile, Ala., a few days later.

McFarland, who is also facing federal robbery charges, has already given authorities a statement implicating himself and Jones in Walker's slaying, Conroy said.

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