Judge Sentences Pottstown Resident Keshaun Sheffield to 12–30 Years in Prison Following 2019 Charges of Murder and Concealment of Body
Keshaun Sheffield, a Pottstown resident, was found guilty on Wednesday of killing his partner, Rashid Young, and burying the body in a shallow grave at the Philadelphia Awbury Arboretum. Sheffield was given a 12- to 30-year state prison sentence after acknowledging that he was responsible for fatally stabbing Young, 22, in an altercation at their shared Pottstown apartment in 2019.
In the aftermath of the incident, Sheffield asked someone else to help bury Young’s body in a makeshift grave close to his mother’s house in East Mount Airy. Sheffield attempted to cover up the crime by taking Young’s Honda Pilot SUV and thousands of dollars from his bank account. Sheffield used Young’s phone to send messages and update social media accounts while posing as Young to communicate negatively with Young’s family, giving the impression that Young had severed contact with them.
Deputy District Attorney Tom McGoldrick called the effects of these false statements on Young’s family “tremendous.” The family was horrified to hear of Young’s passing after already experiencing anguish over his disappearance. In their emotive victim impact statements, Young’s mother, brothers, and father described the enduring sadness of his loss and the heightened distress brought on by learning of his passing.
Kimberly Cyrus, Young’s mother, indicated that she chose to forgive Sheffield in order to let go of her anger, but she also expressed that she is unable to understand the circumstances that led to the crime and the acts that were committed.
During the trial, Marni Jo Snyder, from the Law Offices of MJ Snyder, LLC, stated that out of respect for the harm caused, Sheffield chose not to address the judge in hopes of creating space for the family to feel heard and not diminish their experience.
Synder acknowledges the nuanced dynamic of Young and Sheffield’s relationship, including their history of physical altercations. Reports on the Initial trial strategy during the preliminary hearing last year hinted that Sheffield was possibly a victim of domestic abuse in this relationship.
To illustrate the complexity of this case, Snyder emphasized the ages of the two at the time: 21 and 17. Snyder expressed the regret that Sheffield has had to process alongside the grief of losing someone he truly loved in an unfortunate circumstance.
A groundskeeper at the arboretum found Young’s remains a month after he had died. Even though Young’s family notified Pottstown police that he was missing, it took two years for a family-collaborating lawyer to be able to assist in solving the murder. With Young being previously represented by Nadeem Bezar of Kline & Specter in a civil case, suspicions grew when it was noticed that Young had abruptly stopped using the fund, leading to a $2 million trust from a foster care abuse case.
Sheffield’s sentence aligns with the punishment for a third-degree murder charge in Pennsylvania. Snyder expressed gratitude for the judge’s impartiality and consideration of all the facts and maintains the stance that this significant milestone in the pursuit of justice by Young’s family has had an enduring impact on both sides.