EBENSBURG – A Johnstown man on Tuesday told the brothers, sister and mother of a man he killed nearly two years ago that he thinks about their loved one every morning and every night.
Lemmel Dashawn Myers was sentenced by Cambria County Judge Linda Fleming to 7 1⁄2 to 15 years in state prison for shooting Leslie William Schretrompf inside a West End apartment building.
Myers was ordered to pay $5,325 in restitution to the state Department of Revenue’s Victims Compensation Board to cover the cost of Schretrompf’s funeral.
Schretrompf’s family members said the apology was helpful as they seek closure.
Myers told them he is deeply sorry for shooting Schretrompf and wishes he could change the events of July 24, 2013.
“He understands that they won’t forgive him, but he hopes that they can someday understand,” said Myers’ defense attorney, Daniel Kiss.
Police said that Myers, 28, shot Schretrompf when the victim and his girlfriend came to collect a $20 debt at the apartment building where Myers was working as superintendent.
Myers was facing a general charge of homicide.
In March, he entered a guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter and to felony drug charges in a related case.
After the shooting, city police found 400 bags of heroin that they linked to Myers, said Cambria County Assistant District Attorney Tamara Bernstein.
“This apartment building, it was almost like a drug fortress – it was a business, a drug business,” Bernstein told the court.
The manner Myers chose to support his family destroyed the lives of others, Bernstein said.
“This is one family suffering because of the choices he made, and we believe what brought us here today is inexcusable,” she said.
While Schretrompf was shot in the back, Myers has maintained that he believed the victim intended to harm him and he was acting in self-defense, prosecutors said following the sentencing.
“It was a voluntary manslaughter plea because Mr. Myers had the mistaken belief that he was justified,” Assistant District Attorney Eric Hochfeld said.
Kiss said his client thought he was justified in claiming self-defense, but the evidence showed otherwise.
Fleming said she went along with the guilty plea and sentence because the Schretrompf family agreed with the results and the sentence followed Pennsylvania guidelines.
The sentence will serve as adequate punishment for Myers while protecting society, Fleming said.