Masiyah Howard’s murder trial approaches in brazen 2013 Chambersburg slaying

Alleged killer Masiyah Howard will soon have his day in court.

Howard’s murder trial is scheduled to begin 10 a.m. May 4 at the Mercer County Criminal Courthouse before Superior Court Judge Andrew Smithson.

Howard, 21, of Trenton, is accused of shooting and killing 25-year-old Louis Bryan Alvarez in the city’s Chambersburg neighborhood on Feb. 26, 2013. Police arrested him days later on unrelated robbery charges and then gained probable cause to charge him with murder and weapons offenses.

The homicide victim was a Guatemalan native who worked in Trenton and lived on Fulton Street. On the night of the slaying, Howard went to Alvarez’s residence to confront him and then fired a shot through a glass window after the victim had slammed the door shut about 9:50 p.m., police alleged.

Louis Bryan Alvarez

Louis Bryan Alvarez

Trenton cops arrived on scene to find Alvarez unresponsive, suffering from a gunshot wound to the torso. Medics rushed Alvarez to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where he died about an hour later.

Police say Howard committed two separate robberies in February 2013 leading up to his alleged fatal gunplay that month. He is accused of robbing a Trenton deli and robbing another man. Police arrested him on March 2, 2013, first charging him with the robbery counts and then hammering him with murder charges.

Howard was 17 at the time of his arrest but is being tried as an adult.

Defense attorney Steven Lember is representing Howard; Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Heather Hadley is trying the case for the state.

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