Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 27, 2014

Victim has no memory

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT -- The last thing John Petty remembers from the night of May 25 was being on 19th Street in the Falls, "selling marijuana."

The next thing he remembers is waking up the following day at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.

Petty, 25, had been shot seven times in the chest, stomach and arm, but couldn't remember anything about the shooting, including the 911 call he made that probably saved his life.

"Have you heard (the 911 call)? Do you recognize your voice on that call," First Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann asked. 

"Yes," Petty replied.

"Does it bring back any memories?" Hoffmann asked.

"No," Petty said quietly.

Petty's dramatic testimony came on the second day of the trial of the man accused of shooting him. As Petty, who is now paralyzed from the waist down, was brought into a Niagara County courtroom in a wheelchair on Thursday, his eyes locked on to the suspect, Cordarise Houston.

Houston stared back, but otherwise showed no emotion.

Petty remembered and described Houston as a "good friend." But he remembered nothing else about what happened to leave him lying in a pool of blood on the living room floor of his home in the 1900 block of Cudaback Avenue.

"What's the last thing you remember on the night of May 25?" Hoffmann asked.

"The last thing I remember was being down on 19th Street," Petty said.

"What were you doing there?" the prosecutor asked.

"Selling marijuana," Petty said with a sheepish smile.

Petty told a Niagara County Court jury of nine men and three women, who are hearing the case, he spent three months in the hospital, undergoing multiple surgeries, to recover from his wounds.

He also admitted that, prior to being shot, he had bought a small handgun, "off the street." Police said the gun was in Petty's possession at the time he was shot, but had not been fired.

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Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
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