Delaware County man pleads guilty to third-degree murder in road rage killing

David Desper could spend 40 years in prison for the murder of Bianca Roberson.

Ian Bush
September 05, 2018 - 4:55 pm
David Desper

West Goshen Police Department


WEST CHESTER, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A Delaware County man could spend up to 40 years behind bars after admitting to the road rage shooting in June 2017 that ended the life of a promising teenager.

David Desper, 29, took an open plea Wednesday to third-degree murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Bianca Roberson.

The two are said to have been jockeying for position along Route 100 in West Goshen Township, Chester County — Desper driving a pickup, Roberson behind the wheel of a sedan — when prosecutors say Desper pulled out a .40-caliber handgun and fired a single shot that struck Roberson, a recent high school graduate, in the head. 

Desper sped off, but later turned himself in to police. 

A third-degree murder conviction, enhanced by charges of possession of a deadly weapon, could carry a penalty of 20-40 years in state prison. 

"I just hurt. I hurt and I miss my baby,” said Bianca's mother, Michelle. "There's still a lot of pain, but we’ll have to get through it.”

Roberson's family had been pushing for a first-degree murder conviction, but they say they understand why Desper was allowed to plea to the lesser charge.

"We determined there was a risk that there could be a jury or even just one person on the jury that could say, 'I don't know whether he had that specific intent,'" said Chester County Assistant District Attorney Chris Miller, which could have resulted in a lesser conviction, or none at all.

Desper's attorney, Daniel McGarrigle, says his Desper is sorry for what he did and wanted to take repsonsibility for his actions.

"I think my client's behavior by turning himself in prior to being identified, my client's behavior by entering an open guilty plea, shows his remorse," he said.

Sentencing is expected late this year or in early 2019.