Robert Anderson, 41, of Carlisle, faces the possibility of a death sentence after being accused of walking into the Haines Stackfield American Legion in June 2016 and shooting 30-year-old Daniel Harris multiple times.
However, in an interview with police a few months after the shooting, Anderson described himself as a peacekeeper not a murderer.
“I ain’t no gun-toter,” Anderson told police in 2016. “I don’t want to be no tough guy.”
The final two hours of a roughly three-hour interview he did with Carlisle Police was played in open court Saturday during the trial against Anderson.
He is charged with first- and second-degree murder, two counts of criminal homicide, felony possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and misdemeanor reckless endangerment, according to court records.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Anderson could face the death penalty.
“These guys know who shot who, but they ain’t going to step and say, ‘let’s stop this,’”Anderson told police. “... I hate the state of the black community.”
During the 2016 interview, Anderson told police he arrived home in Carlisle the night of June 10, 2016, went inside his home on Spruce Street and played video games. He told police he did not leave his home until after Harris was shot and killed around 12:45 a.m. June 11, 2016, inside the American Legion facility on West Penn Street.
Carlisle Police Detective Sgt. Daniel Freedman testified Saturday that police collected records from Sony showing someone logged onto Anderson’s gaming system at the home shortly before midnight on June 10.
Cell phone records introduced into evidence Friday showed Anderson’s phone was in the vicinity of the American Legion shortly before the shooting and moved between cell phone towers in Carlisle that night.
The 40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun used to kill Harris was found in Philadelphia in the possession of a man who traveled frequently to Carlisle to sell drugs. Freedman stated the gun was stolen in 2015 during a burglary committed by family members of Anderson.
Freedman also said the Philadelphia man, known as Little Bill, told police he received the gun after Harris’s death as payment for drugs.
To date, no physical evidence has been presented that directly ties Anderson to the shooting, and none of the eyewitnesses presented in court have identified Anderson as the shooter.
“Do you have any finger prints on the gun from my client Robert Anderson,” defense attorney Heidi Eakin asked Freedman Saturday.
“We do not,” he responded.
Anderson and Harris did, however, have a violent history.
Earlier in the week during opening statements, Senior Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Metzger described Anderson as a “duty bound protector of his family.”
In January 2016, someone shot Anderson multiple times.
Anderson told police in his 2016 interview that someone told him Harris was the one who shot him but he had forgiven Harris for it.
Harris was never charged in the shooting because of lack of cooperation, according to Freedman, but an investigating grand jury was formed to look into several shootings that occurred in the borough around that time.
Harris was called to testify during those proceedings and within a few months, someone shot and killed him.
The trial against Anderson resumes Monday morning and is expected to run through the week.