Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has signed death warrants authorizing the executions of three men convicted of murder. One of them is Christopher Roney a.k.a. Cool C.
The former rapper was convicted of first degree murder for the shooting death of police officer Lauretha Vaird in 1996.
Roney, now 44, along with Warren McGlone, also known as Steady B, and local rapper Ernest Canty, attempted to rob the PNC branch at 4710 Rising Sun Ave. just before 8:30 a.m.
When the assistant manager arrived for work, Canty grabbed her and the branch manager and forced them into the bank at gunpoint. Roney grabbed the head teller when she arrived. Police were notified of the robbery in progress by witnesses at a local business and Vaird, a nine-year veteran, was the first on the scene, according to investigators. Roney fired once, hitting her in the abdomen. Based on eyewitness testimony and identifications, the three men were subsequently arrested. Roney’s accomplices confessed to their participation in the crime.
Roney was originally sentenced to death in 1996. His music career reached a high point during his time as a member of the Hilltop Hustlers in the 1980s. He released two solo albums during his time with Atlantic Records.
Vaird was the first responder to a robbery attempt of a PNC bank branch carried out by Roney, McGlone and Canty. The bank’s silent alarm was activated. Vaird was shot as she entered the bank.
He exchanged gunfire with other officers when he stepped outside. He and Canty dropped their weapons at the scene and the three left in a stolen car.
He was tried and convicted of first-degree murder. Gov. Ed Rendell signed his death warrant in 2006, and he appealed his conviction.
Roney was arrested on Oct. 30, 1996, tried and convicted of first-degree murder. Gov. Ed Rendell signed his death warrant on Jan. 10, 2006 and he appealed his conviction.
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