PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) – The family and friends of Milan Loncar, a beloved Brewerytown man who was shot and killed while walking his dog in January 2020, have come together for the sentencing of the man convicted of the crime.
While defendant Josephus Davis, 21, was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder, robbery and firearms in the case, he was not in court on Friday.
Davis appeared via Zoom in an orange jumpsuit, after court officials said he refused a COVID-19 test. But the judge ordered an investigation because Davis said prison guards would not allow him to be tested.
“It has recently been a ploy by the defendants not to have to face trials, convictions or the like. We’ve been dealing with this from time to time for the past few months,” prosecutor Joanne Pescatore said.
The hearing continued, as the judge read for the first time summaries of more than two dozen letters written by those close to Loncar. They described the 25-year-old Temple graduate as a kind and compassionate soul who would drop everything to help someone.
Loncar’s sister tearfully told the court that he would have jumped in front of a ball for anyone, including Davis.
Loncar’s mother said a single gunshot, which turned her chest into spaghetti, ripped their life apart. She told the judge that due to the devastation and grief, she and her daughter had entered into an anti-suicide pact.
Pescatore believes the victim’s family also feels for Davis, even though he took Loncar’s life.
“I think this family, more than any family I’ve dealt with, has compassion for the defendant and his family and doesn’t want to be seen as privileged,” Pescatore said.
Davis yawned a dozen times during the hearing.
When he finally got the chance to speak, he said he thought racism was a big part of his sentencing, adding that it was “too bad that another black man lost his life” in prison.
“Everything is on video. There was gunshot residue. He’s wearing the clothes, and an hour and a half later he’s wearing the same clothes that you can clearly see on the video,” Pescatore said of the murder that happened near the corner of North 31st and Jefferson streets.
“You can clearly see that he is the person holding the gun and the person shooting the gun.”
Davis did not express sympathy for the family, as her mother did when speaking. She told the judge that her children were taken away and given to her drug addict father and added that he had a difficult childhood and had bounced around in different disciplinary schools.
“They also feel a bit of grief for his mother,” Pescatore said of Loncar’s family.
” They have [had] such a big loss in their own lives, but they still got to say some nice things to him. They don’t blame her.
Davis still has an open carjacking case involving a kidnapped Uber driver and two previous robbery convictions, but will serve the rest of his life behind bars as an automatic sentence. The judge added 12 and a half years to 24 years in prison for the additional firearms and conspiracy charges.