DeGennaro murder trial pushed back to 2013

The trial for the murder of Levittown musician Danny DeGennaro was pushed back Friday, to early next year, and the death penalty will be sought for only one of the five defendants.

Bucks County Judge Rea B. Boylan rescheduled the trial from Nov. 26 to Feb. 4, after lawyers for three Trenton men requested additional time to prepare their cases.

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Danny DeGennaro was known for his dazzling guitar skills and soulful songs.

Gia DeGennaro, the daughter of the popular guitarist and song writer,  broke into tears over the ruling. She declined to comment, but was assured by prosecutors that the ruling was standard procedure.

Danny DeGennaro, 56, was killed by a single shotgun blast at close range in his Bristol Township home, in what authorities say was a botched attempt to get money from him. DeGennaro, who toured the country with the group Kingfish and such rock and R&B stars such as Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead and Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band, died a short time later at St. Mary Medical Center.

One of the suspects, Jermaine Jackson, told his four co-defendants "that they were going to a guy's house that owed him money,” according to court documents.

Jackson enlisted two 17-year-old women, Danasia Bakr of Falls Township and Tatyana Henderson of Bensalem, to go along with the two other men to collect the money, according to court documents.

Bakr and Henderson waited outside DeGennaro’s house while Breon Powell, 21, armed with a shotgun, and Kazair Gist, armed with a handgun, went inside, according to court documents.

Powell allegedly shot DeGennaro, authorities have said. All five defendants are charged as adults with murder, robbery, burglary, conspiracy, and possession of a weapon, and are being held without bail.

The two young women have asked that their cases be transferred to juvenile court, and they are not expected to be tried with the three men because they have cooperated with investigators.

The District Attorney’s Office originally said it would seek the death penalty for the three men. But it was determined that Gist was a minor at the time of the shooting and is not eligible for the death penalty.

At the pre-trial hearing Friday, Assistant District Attorney Matt Weintraub said that Jackson also was “just under 18” at the time and did not qualify, leaving only Powell facing a possible death penalty.