Sunday, September 21, 2014
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Suspect in Levittown musician's murder faces unrelated theft charges

Morrisville teenager Danasia Bakr was arrested last week, police said Wednesday. She also got a new lawyer Wednesday.

Suspect in Levittown musician's murder faces unrelated theft charges

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Danasia Bakr gets into county SUV to be taken to Bucks County Prison after her arraignment Tuesday. (Bill Reed/Staff)

The Morrisville teenager charged with the murder of Levittown musician Danny DeGennaro was arrested last week on an unrelated theft charge, Falls Township police said Wednesday.

And Bensalem lawyer Michael Parlow filed papers to represent Danasia Bakr, 17, one day after she was arraigned on murder, robbery, burglary and conspiracy charges in the Dec. 28 fatal shooting.

Bakr will be treated as a juvenile for the alleged theft, Falls police Lt. Henry Ward said, unlike the DeGennaro case, in which she will be tried as an adult.

The alleged theft occurred on Feb. 8, and a warrant was issued for her arrest, Ward said. It took police until last week to track her down, he said.

He declined to provide details because of Bakr’s juvenile status.

On the night DeGennaro was killed, Bakr allegedly drove some of five co-conspirators to and from the guitar player’s Bristol Townhip home in her 2002 dark green Lincoln LS, according to the affidavit of probable cause. She told police she waited in the car while one man armed with a shotgun and another with a 9mm handgun went into the house to rob DeGennaro.

DeGennaro was shot once in the chest at close range and died shortly after at St. Mary Medical Center.

Bakr and her adult girlfriend, who was in a second car, traded 44 cell phone calls and texts in the hour leading up to the shooting, according to the affidavit. The girlfriend also tried to call DeGennaro to lure him out of the house to rob him, but mistakenly called a neighbor.

Cell phone records led police to Bakr, according to the affidavit. She admitted her role in the botched robbery, but she has “hardly been forthcoming,” District Attorney David Heckler said Tuesday.

Authorities are hoping Bakr and a co-conspirator who is in custody on unrelated charges, will help them find the other three suspects.

“In addition to the two in custody, all three pulled the trigger,” Heckler said. “We are ready to hear from those individuals. We know who you are, and we are coming.”

Bakr, who is being held in Bucks County Prison without bail, is a Pennsbury High School student, authorities said. Her address in court documents is the Alexandria Apartments complex off West Trenton Avenue. A neighbor there said Bakr’s mother and younger sister live in the apartment.

At Bakr’s arraignment, her lawyer, Peter Greiner of the Philadelphia law firm Meyerson & O’Neill, entered pleas of not guilty while she stood silently, wearing a gray blouse, white sweater and jeans.

Greiner told District Justice Robert L. Wagner Jr. that Bakr had no prior record. He declined to comment on the case after the proceeding, and he did not return calls Wednesday about whether he was still representing Bakr, who will turn 18 next month.

Parlow also did not return phone calls, but Wagner's office confirmed that the criminal defense lawyer had filed papers to represent Bakr.

Authorities said DeGennaro’s house on Crabtree Drive was targeted because his killers thought they could get money there, though no relationship has been established.

The songwriter’s manager, Kevin Kerwin, said Wednesday that DeGennaro had expensive musical equipment that he carried in and out of the house routinely.

“Was it coincidental? I don’t know,” Kerwin said.

DeGennaro’s death “was a horrible loss,” he said. “Nothing was taken, so what was accomplished?”

About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at cpalmer@phillynews.com, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at bfinley@phillynews.com, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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