County Grand Jury Issues Charges Against Second Man in Bethlehem Murder
15-year-old Kevin Muzila was innocent victim in drug dispute.
One week before Christmas 2006, Kevin Muzila answered a knock on the door of his family's Bethlehem apartment on West Union Boulevard.
The man at the door shot him in the chest. Muzila, then a 15-year-old middle school student, died at a nearby hospital.
A few months after the murder, police arrested a man named Paul Serrano, and uncovered a horrific truth: the death of Kevin Muzila was an accident. Serrano -- who eventually pleaded guilty and received a life sentence -- had gone to the wrong door.
"All he did was tell his mother 'I'll get the door.' And he got killed," said Bethlehem police Lt. Mark DiLuzio. "That could be anybody's son, answering the door on any night."
More than four years after Kevin Muzila's death, authorities say they are ready to charge a second man with his murder. A Northampton County grand jury has determined that another man, Daniel Macon, actually gave the order to shoot Serrano's intended victim.
District Attorney John Morganelli, joined by DiLuzio and Bethlehem Police Commissioner Stuart Bedics, announced these charges at a news conference Wednesday, saying they were the result of years of hard work by the police and grand jury.
Macon, 25, of Bethlehem, is already in prison in New Jersey on a probation/parole violation, Morganelli said. He will be extradited to Pennsylvania, and arraigned on charges of criminal homicide, criminal solicitation to commit homicide, and criminal conspiracy to commit homicide.
"The work of the grand jury was really crucial to getting enough evidence," Morganelli said.
There's more weight behind a grand jury, he said, more pressure to tell the truth. According to court documents, witnesses provided new information, and new physical evidence, chiefly, a letter from Macon's brother to their mother talking about the murder and warning Macon to "get real low" and "move."
Another witness told the grand jury that Macon had given Serrano the gun he used in the shooting, and ordered him to kill someone in an apartment in the building next to the one Muzila lived in.
"Giving him the gun is as bad as pulling the trigger," Morganelli told reporters.
Police say the shooting was the result of a dispute between Macon and another man involving the drug trade. It's not clear whether he and Serrano have any gang affiliation, but they did spend time in prison together.
Bedics praised his officers for their persistence, for "not letting this just end with the arrest of the shooter."
This is the third case the grand jury has handled since being impaneled last year. Morganelli said when its term ends in September, he will likely petition the court to let it keep working.