Niagara Gazette

Courts

June 4, 2013

Child shooting charges contested in court

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — The lawyer for a Falls man accused of shooting a 2-year-old child in the face says he will move to have the charges dismissed.

Attorney Earl Key told Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III on Tuesday that prosecutors failed, until recently, to disclose information to him that could aid in the defense of Willie "Boo" Scott. Key said the failure to disclose that information means the case against Scott should be thrown out.

During a brief hearing before Murphy, Key claimed the man who was the apparent target in the botched shooting initially told investigators he could not identify the gunman.

"(The shooting target) denied knowing who the shooter was," Key said. "I should have gotten that statement earlier (than the last few days). Had we known (what the shooting target first told detectives), we would have called that witness in the grand jury (investigation)."

Prosecutors pointed out that Key was not Scott's attorney at the time of the grand jury proceeding. Key recently replaced defense attorney Angelo Musitano, who was 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.

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.

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.

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