Easton man trailed victim before Palmer killing, cops say

A 24-year-old Easton man was denied bail Friday morning on charges he shot and killed a 36-year-old Bangor area man on Thursday night in Palmer Township. Dekota Jerome Baptiste, of the 100 block of East Madison Street, was arraigned before District Judge...

Easton man trailed victim before Palmer killing, cops say

A 24-year-old Easton man was denied bail Friday morning on charges he shot and killed a 36-year-old Bangor area man on Thursday night in Palmer Township.

Dekota Jerome Baptiste, of the 100 block of East Madison Street, was arraigned before District Judge Jacqueline Taschner on charges of homicide, attempted homicide, aggravated assault and related offenses. He was sent to Northampton County Prison.

About 7 p.m. Thursday, after trailing Terrance R. Ferguson, who was driving a Hyundai Sonata, Thressa Duarte, and an unnamed man to the Auto Zone on 25th Street, Baptiste blocked in the car, pulled a stolen Smith & Wesson .357-caliber revolver and emptied it into the car, township police said. The gun was later found near 18th and Spruce streets in Wilson, police said.

Easton man named as gunman

Ferguson was wounded in the shoulder and neck area and died in the car, police said. Duarte wasn't wounded and the other man was out of the car and in the store at the time of the shooting, police said.

Baptiste had previously texted Duarte that he was going to shoot Lex -- which is Ferguson's street name, police sad. Duarte's mother, Mauren, told police she received a call from Baptiste saying he was following the car, police sad.

Duarte ducked to the floor during the shooting, police said.

A Wilson Borough police officer, who was at nearby Meuser Park, heard the gunshots and saw Baptiste fleeing in a blue Nissan Versa, with headlights out and smoke coming from the front, police said. Baptiste sped away through stop signs before eventually being stopped and arrested in the 1400 block of Lehigh Street, police said.

Baptiste had gunshot residue on his left hand, police said.

His preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled 10 a.m. March 10 in Taschner's court.

Tony Rhodin may be reached at arhodin@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyRhodin. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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