The target in an alleged Facebook murder-for-hire case was shot to death in Philadelphia Monday night, just hours after a hearing in which a judge held two people for trial for conspiring to kill him.
PHILADELPHIA — Even with the people accused of plotting to kill him behind bars, Corey White was not safe.
In May, White was the target of an alleged Facebook murder-for-hire plot, allegedly arranged by the mother of his 3-year-old daughter. He was killed Monday night just hours after a hearing in which a judge held the woman and another man for trial for conspiring to kill him.
Now, police are trying to figure out whether White’s slaying was connected to the Facebook case or just a deadly coincidence.
“Too early to tell,” Homicide Capt. James Clark said Tuesday at a news conference.”However, there are a couple of theories out there.”
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One of those theories, investigators said, involves White’s alleged role in an Upper Darby shooting last month. Another is that the slaying was related to drugs.
White, 22, was shot twice in the chest on a street just blocks from where he lived, police said. He died shortly afterward at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Earlier Monday, Municipal Court Judge Patrick Dugan held White’s ex-girlfriend, London Eley, 19, of Upper Darby, and Timothy Bynum, 18, of Darby, for trial on charges of criminal solicitation for murder and attempted murder.
Authorities allege that Bynum and Eley conspired to kill White in a series of Facebook posts in May.
In May, after an argument with White, Eley allegedly posted on her Facebook wall: “I will pay somebody a stack to kill my baby father.”
“Stack” is slang for $1,000. When several people commented, one asking if she was sure she wanted White dead and not just hurt, police said, she posted, “DEAD! HATE HIM!”
Bynum, police said, responded with: “say no more. what he look like. where he be at. need that stack 1st ima mop that bull.”
Officers found a .22-caliber handgun in Bynum’s apartment.
White testified against the pair at a hearing two weeks ago. Both have been in custody since their arrest.
Gerald Stein, Eley’s defense attorney, argued that his client was angry when she made her Facebook posts but that she came to regret her statements.
“She started spouting off, and venting, and unfortunately she did it on the Internet,” he said. “But if everybody who said ‘I want to kill this person’ was arrested, we’d have to build 10 more jails in Philadelphia.”
Eley heard of White’s death Monday night, Stein said.
“She was distraught,” Stein said. He said he did not believe White’s death was connected to the Facebook statements.
White might have been a target for his involvement in a deadly shooting in Upper Darby, investigators said.
Police believe White was with John Gordon, 37, of Southwest Philadelphia, when Gordon allegedly fired 13 shots outside the Venue bar on Garrett Road July 18, said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.
There had been a fight in the bathroom, and Gordon, who had served 10 years for murder, allegedly yelled to the crowd: “You need to get out of here; it’s about to be a (expletive) crime scene.”
A 23-year-old man died in the gunfire. Police say they believe White drove the getaway car, Chitwood said.
“We were trying to find him for questioning,” Chitwood said of White. “But we didn’t find him until he turned up dead.”
A motorist was carjacked Monday in a car police believe was used in the White shooting, investigators said. It was later found torched.
Fifteen minutes after the carjacking, police said, two or more men pulled up as White was hanging out on Hadfield Street.
One man got out of the car, words were exchanged, and the man shot White, police said.