By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A Falls man accused of shooting a 2-year-old child in the face has finally found a new lawyer.
Former prosecutor Earl Key told Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III on Thursday that he has been hired to represent Willie "Boo" Scott.
"Welcome to the case Mr. Key," Murphy said. "We've been looking for a lawyer for months it seems."
Key will replace prominent Niagara County defense attorney Angelo Musitano who Murphy removed from the case because of a "conflict of interest." Musitano had previously represented the mother of Scott's victim in a number of criminal matters.
"Mr Scott wants me to repeat his objection to the removal of Mr. Musitano," Key told Murphy.
The judge said he understood Scott's objections, but would not revisit his ruling.
"I appreciate your undertaking this case," Murphy told Key. "There have been some delays."
Scott, 32, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree assault, first-degree criminal use of a firearm and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the shooting that took place in the parking lot of the Hometown Market at 17th Street and Pierce Avenue on Nov. 27.
Scott has denied any involvement in the shooting of the now 3-year-old child.
The shooting took place just after 1 p.m. Investigators have said Scott was shooting at a man sitting in the front seat of the car.
Instead of hitting his target, Scott’s bullets slammed into the rear door of the vehicle, striking the child who was sitting in the rear seat.
The little girl suffered “two gun shots directly to the face.” She spent more than three weeks in Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, undergoing at least two surgeries to remove a bullet and bullet fragments from her face.
The child is reportedly home now and recovering from her injuries.