A Falls man, accused of shooting a 2-year-old child in the face, will now spend a decade behind bars.
In a pre-determined sentence that was part of a plea deal, Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III sent Willie "Boo" Scott to prison for 10 years and tacked on five additional years of post release supervision.
"This is a senseless crime," the judge said. "There's never been an explanation for why this happened."
Both Scott and his defense attorney, Earl Key, declined a chance to speak to the judge before the sentence was imposed.
"Judge, we have nothing to say," Key told Murphy.
Scott, 33, pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted first-degree assault. The plea means he is now a two-time convicted felon.
He had faced charges of first-degree assault, first-degree criminal use of a firearm and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the shooting that took place in the parking lot of the Hometown Market at 17th Street and Pierce Avenue on Nov. 27, 2012. Had he been convicted on those charges, Scott could have been looking at an up to 25-year prison term.
Investigators said Scott was shooting at a man sitting in the front seat of the car. However, 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 a gunshot wound to the face. First Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann told Murphy a bullet hit the child in the face, went through her nose and lodged in her jaw.
Despite three separate surgeries, the bullet remains in the little girl's face.
"This is a case with an innocent victim," Hoffmann said.
The little girl, who is now 3-years-old, spent more than three weeks in Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, in the aftermath of the shooting. Her mother, Sharonda Platt, said she will need more surgery as she gets older, but is continuing to recover.
"She still has a beautiful smile," Platt told Murphy. "But she can't make a whole smile because of the bullet lodged in her face."
Platt also said she was disappointed with Scott's prison term, but that it was "in God's hands."
"I don't fell like 10 years is enough,' Platt said. "I really don't know what happened. I really don't know why it happened. I don't understand his logic for doing it.
At his plea hearing in September, Murphy asked Scott to explain what he was doing when he shot the child.
"You had a gun in the car and what we're you shooting at," Murphy asked. "Were you shooting at someone or shooting at the car?"
"I was shooting at the car," Scott said.