One of two men charged in the Aug. 18, 2012, robbery and slaying of Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker pleaded guilty Thursday in a deal that allows him to escape life in prison if he cooperates in the prosecution of the alleged shooter.
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Chancier McFarland, 21, of North Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the predawn shooting of Walker as he walked to a bus stop after finishing his shift as a turnkey in the 22d Police District.
McFarland also pleaded guilty to participating in two strong-arm robberies of corner groceries on Feb. 28, 2011.
Seated next to defense attorney Jonathan J. Sobel, McFarland said nothing during the hour-long hearing but his one-word answers as Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson asked if he understood the constitutional rights he was giving up.
Bronson told McFarland he will be sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison if he fulfills his promise to cooperate in the prosecution of his codefendant, Rafael Jones, 25.
Bronson deferred sentencing until after Jones' trial, a death-penalty case tentatively set to begin Dec. 1.
Assistant District Attorney Jude Conroy said McFarland has given two statements admitting his role in and describing Moses' shooting. The first was after he surrendered to the FBI in Mobile, Ala., on Aug. 26, 2012 and the second last month.
Walker, 40, a 19-year veteran of the police force, was fatally shot at about 6 a.m. on Aug. 18. Surveillance video showed him being confronted and shot by one of two gunmen.