Niagara Gazette


March 22, 2014

Attempted murder suspect heading to trial after turning down plea

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A Falls man, charged with the attempted murder of another man, has rejected a plea offer from prosecutors and will go to trial on Monday.

Cordarise Houston turned down a chance to plead guilty to a charge of attempted first-degree assault and will take his chances with a Niagara County Court jury. Houston, 23, 666 70th St., will stand trial on a charge of attempted second-degree murder in the shooting of John Petty.

Petty, 24, was inside his home, in the 1900 block of Cudaback Avenue, at about 12:40 a.m. on May 26 when he was shot seven times in the abdomen. He was rushed to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, before being transferred to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.

Though his condition was critical when he arrived at ECMC, doctors there were able to save his life. The shooting left Petty paralyzed and prosecutors have said the trauma has left him unable to recall the details of being shot. 

Detectives said Houston fled from Petty’s home after the shooting. He was located, a day later, by agents with the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force while “hiding-out” in a hotel on Niagara Falls Boulevard. 

Houston surrendered to the agents without incident.

It’s not Houston’s first brush with violence on the city’s streets. He was released from prison in January after serving five years of a seven-year term for his conviction in connection with a pair of shootings in 2005 when he was just 17.

In that case, Houston pleaded guilty to both shooting a man in December 2005 and acting as a lookout when another man was shot during a home invasion in October 2005.

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