While 140 prospective jurors sat in a courtroom at the Schuylkill County courthouse Monday awaiting to be called to be screened to sit on a murder trial, the defendant chose not to go on trial but entered a plea of nollo contendre (no contest) to a charge of third degree murder.
Damon L. Ennett, 31, of Freeland, after accepting his plea Judge Jacqueline Russell immediaetly sentenced him to serve 13 1/2 to 27 years in a state correctional institution. The sentence is to begin when a sentence of 60 months he is currently serving in a federal prison expires.
After the sentence was imposed First Assistant District Attorney Karen Noon, who was prepared to prosecute the case, crossed the corridor to where the jury panel was located and explained to the prospective jurors what took place and that their services were no longer needed. She thanked them from taking the time from their normal schedule to carry out their duty as citizens and told them by showing up they played a major role in obtaining the plea and avoided a week of trial.
By entering the plea Ennett admitted to participating in the killing of Bruce L. Forker, 24, which occured at the home of Forker's fiancee in Shenandoah on the early morning hours of March 16, 2010. Forker was shot in the head but the shooter is still unidentified.
After the murder occurred the state police arrested three men as being involved in the shooting.
Julius C. Enoe, 33, of Reading, was charged as being the shooter but after two trials the Commonwealth was unable to prove its case and he walked away a free man. The first trial ended in a mistrial as a jury could not agree but in the second trial the jury found him not guilty of all charges.
Ennett testified in both trials claiming he was outside and was the driver for the getaway and that Enoe and his nephew, Jahmnal Ollivirre, 20, New York City, were the two men who entered the home to obtain money Forker owed them from illegal drug transactions. Enoe denied he was at the home.
The men who entered the home were masked and no one in the home could identify the shooter or his accomplice.
The nephew, Ollivirre was scheduled to go on trial with Ennett but last week entered a guilty plea to third degree murder and received a sentence from Russell of 15 to 30 years in a state correctional institution.