Niagara Gazette


March 24, 2014

Jury selection under way for Houston

LOCKPORT — Jury selection is under way in Niagara County Court in the trial of a Falls man charged with attempted murder.

So far, three women and seven men have been selected for the jury that will hear the case against Cordarise Houston. Two more jurors and two alternate jurors are expected to be selected later today.

Opening arguments are set for Wednesday.

Houston, 23, 666 70th St., has rejected a plea offer from prosecutors that would have allowed him to plead guilty to a charge of attempted first-degree assault. Instead, he 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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