DA: Judge rejects inmate’s ‘confession,’ which was intended to clear his friend in 2003 Lancaster shooting

McCullough (left) and Clark

LANCASTER COUNTY — A Lancaster County judge has rejected the “confession” of an inmate in a 2003 shooting that left a student paralyzed, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

Kalvin McCullough is currently serving a 38- to 76-year prison sentence for shooting Joseph Rodgers, an 18-year-old Stevens College student near the campus in 2003, the DA’s office said. The shooting left Rodgers paralyzed.

In an appeal of his sentence, McCullough presented a confession affidavit from another inmate, Lamar Clark, who claims he shot Rodgers 16 years ago. McCullough and Clark believed — mistakenly, the DA’s office said — that if the attempted murder charge fell on Clark the statute of limitations would have expired by now, and neither man could be sentenced for the crime.

But Lancaster County Judge Jeffery Wright recently rejected McCullough’s request, finding that Clark’s claim “at worst, may amount to perjury.”

At a hearing in February, Assistant District Attorney Gregory Seiders presented evidence that the inmates — friends since childhood — concocted the plan via communication through the prison email system, according to the DA’s office. Those correspondences were archived and revealed the ploy.

McCullough used an intermediary to connect with Clark about the plan. (Clark is serving 38½ to 87 years for opening fire inside a Lancaster city bar in 2014, killing a man and injuring others.)

In an email, the intermediary wrote to Clark: “He (McCullough) found some crazy loophole but he needs your help in order for him to succeed,” prosecutors said.

Clark replied that he would “make it happen,” according to prosecutors.

Clark ultimately signed an affidavit containing his confession. However, at the February hearing before Judge Wright, Clark recalled little about the 2003 shooting, essentially recited what had been printed in news reports.

At McCullough’s trial in 2004, an eyewitness testified that there was “no doubt” that McCullough was the shooter, according to prosecutors. McCullough was convicted of four counts of attempted homicide and related charges. McCullough opened fire on a group that included Rodgers, a two-sport athlete from Bensalem.

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