Suspects in Liczbinski murder held for trial

May 15, 2008 8:12:04 PM PDT
Sgt. Liczbinski's widow and children came to court today to be face to face with the two men who survived the bloody violence of May 3rd in Port Richmond. After a long a painful hearing, Lavon Warner, 39, and Eric Floyd, 33, were held for trial on all charges related to the murder of Sgt. Liczbinski and the bank robbery that triggered his killing.

The trio of robbers in disguise walked into the tiny Bank of America branch inside a Shop Rite market, terrorizing employees there at gunpoint and making off with 40-thousand dollars in cash.

The trio had a van stashed a few blocks away, and were on their way to switch vehicles when Liczbinski spotted the suspect Jeep and gave chase, authorities say. Liczbinski can be heard reporting his whereabouts, block by block, on a police dispatch tape played in court.

Dixie Widing, a resident in the neighborhood, testified she saw Liczbinski pull over the Jeep.

Widing saw Liczbinski step out of his cruiser and stand behind his door.

Floyd, in his statement, says he watched the officer in his rear view mirror. Liczbinski seemed to silently tell Cain, the alleged gunman, "Hold it, don't do it, or you don't want to do that."

But the shooter fires into the door, striking the sergeant five times in the arms and torso.

Both Floyd and Widing say they see him fall.

The gunman then spins around in time to freeze the rifle on the hysterical Widman before the Jeep takes off.

"I was screaming (to neighbors), "Go to the officer! Go to the officer!" she said.

Widing heard Liczbinski's last words: "Tell my wife and children I love them."

"And then he tried to say something (else) ... , but he couldn't get it out," she said. Liczbinski's family wept as she testified.

Widing identified the Chinese-made assault rifle used by the killer.

Alleged triggerman Howard Cain was killed moments later by police. Cain's cousin came out of the courtroom to make an apology to the Liczbinski family.

Detectives read the signed confessions of Warner and Floyd as they tried to allude the pursuit of Sgt. Liczbinski.

In his confession to robbery, Floyd said, "It was not my intention to harm anyone. I was horrified when the shooting happened. I am not the monster people make me out to be... And I hope with Howard being dead, that I'm not the one that will have to settle his debt."

Floyd's mother left court without comment, but the lead prosecutor says Liczbinski's blood is on the hands of all three men.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson told reporters that Floyd said, "We can't shake him. We're going to have to bang him. They had to kill him. It was at that point that Cain turned to Warner, who had the rifle in the backseat, and said give me the rifle. I'll do it. He immediately got out and without so much as hesitating, he fired at least five shots at Sergeant Liczbinski."