Reputed Crips gang member gets 12 to 24 years for Wilkes-Barre murder

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
Keanu Pinnock is escorted out of the Luzerne County Courthouse on Thursday following his sentencing in the 2016 fatal shooting of Irvando “Yardie” Crooks in Wilkes-Barre. Pinnock must serve 12 to 24 years in state prison for third-degree murder. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — Reputed Crips street gang member Keanu Pinnock wishes he could take back his role in the fatal shooting of Irvando “Yardie” Crooks in September 2016.

“I apologize to the family of Irvando Crooks. I know what I did was wrong,” Pinnock read from a prepared statement Thursday at his sentencing in Luzerne County Court.

“Since I have been incarcerated, I have realized a lot of things. This lifestyle is not for me,” the Wilkes-Barre man said, acknowledging all he can do now is express his remorse and seek forgiveness.

Luzerne County Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. sentenced Pinnock, 20, of North Sherman Street, to serve 12 to 24 years in state prison on a third-degree murder charge.

Wilkes-Barre police said Pinnock, also known as “Preky,” and Tevon “Mulah” Thomas, 25 — another reputed Crips gang member — fatally shot Crooks inside 70 N. Sherman St. on Sept. 2, 2016. Crooks was found by police in front of the house lying on the lawn.

An autopsy revealed Crooks, 25, died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Pinnock pleaded guilty to third-degree murder under a negotiated plea agreement with the district attorney’s office in November. Under the deal, Pinnock cooperated with prosecutors and testified at Thomas’ jury trial in January.

A jury convicted Thomas of first-degree criminal homicide for his role in the fatal shooting. Thomas faces a mandatory life term when he is sentenced next week.

Assistant prosecutors Tony Ross and Jill Matthews told Sklarosky that Pinnock upheld his end of the plea deal by testifying at Thomas’ trial.

Pinnock testified Crooks was angry because a phone used to sell drugs ran out of minutes. As punishment, Crooks prohibited Pinnock from selling drugs for a week.

While Pinnock was inside 70 N. Sherman St., he told Thomas he wasn’t permitted to sell drugs, and Thomas took the punishment as a personal insult.

When Crooks showed up at Pinnock’s house, Pinnock testified, Thomas drew his weapon first, pointing it at Crooks and firing a round that struck Crooks in the leg. Pinnock fired two rounds, with one bullet striking Crooks in the back. Pinnock said Thomas tried to fire another shot but the handgun jammed after a clip was loaded.

Pinnock faced 20 to 40 years in state prison. Due to his cooperation with prosecutors, Sklarosky accepted the recommendation by Ross and Matthews of a 12- to 24-year term.

Keanu Pinnock is escorted out of the Luzerne County Courthouse on Thursday following his sentencing in the 2016 fatal shooting of Irvando “Yardie” Crooks in Wilkes-Barre. Pinnock must serve 12 to 24 years in state prison for third-degree murder.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_Keanu-Pinnock-02082018-3.jpgKeanu Pinnock is escorted out of the Luzerne County Courthouse on Thursday following his sentencing in the 2016 fatal shooting of Irvando “Yardie” Crooks in Wilkes-Barre. Pinnock must serve 12 to 24 years in state prison for third-degree murder. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

By Ed Lewis

[email protected]