STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A Monroe County man is headed to trial on charges of murder and robbery. William Mcrae is accused of fatally shooting his partner after both men used a craigslist ad and a woman to lure and rob a victim. Eyewitness News was the only news outlet in the courtroom today for Mcrae’s surprising decision. William Mcrae walked into to court expected to plead guilty to 1st degree robbery and murder in the 3rd degree this morning. But in dramatic fashion…and at the last minute– he changed his mind, leaving the victim’s family devastated by todays events.
     The victim’s Stepfather, Tamango Brown, said “So now something that could have ended today is going to take a long period of time”.
Outside the courtroom the mother of murder victim Brandon Fraser wept after listening to her son’s accused killer refuse to accept a plea deal and responsibility for killing the 20 year old.
      Fraser’s mother, Karen Brown, said “Just hopefully my son will get you know.  Hopefully he gets justice.  That’s all I’m hoping for”.
Mcrae and Fraser with the help of Female accomplice conspired to rob a 45 year old man in July 2013. They lured him to the Poconos through a Craigslist ad.Then bound and beat him with a baseball bat before stealing his money, cell phone, and wallet. After the attack—Fraser told people about the robbery and Mcrae wanted to silence him.  So he allegedly shot Fraser in the back of the head while the female accomplice was present. Mcrae’s decision not to accept the 3rd degree murder and robbery plea agreement even brought his own mother to tears.
     Tuesday’s testimony  made the decision to go to trial even harder for Fraser’s mother and step father. Brown said, “This is just so hard for any parent to go through, you know and unfortunately it happened to us”.
Mcrae did plead guilty to the robbery charges, but refused to take the plea bargain on the murder charge, so the judge threw both pleas out – and the trial will start tomorrow. Mcrae faces a sentence of life in prison if convicted.