Niagara Gazette

January 25, 2013

Scott pleads not guilty

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT --  A Falls man accused of shooting a 2-year-old child in the face has pleaded not guilty to a three count grand jury indictment.

Willie "Boo" Scott, 32, entered his plea, during a hearing Friday in Niagara County Court  in Lockport, to charges of first-degree assault, first-degree criminal use of a firearm and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. County Court Judge Matthew J, Murphy III set bail for Scott at $200,000 after prosecutors said he had fled the area for more than six weeks after the shooting incident.

First Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann also told the judge that Scott had two prior felony criminal convictions and was facing unrelated criminal charges and failed to appear at a Falls City Court hearing just days after the shooting in the parking lot of a North End mini-mart.

Scott was taken into custody on Jan. 9, by Falls police detectives who had been hunting for him since shortly after the Nov. 27 incident. He was turned in after showing up at the offices of his defense attorney, Angelo Musitano.

Prosecutors also asked Murphy to "disqualify" Musitano from representing Scott. In a motion filed with the court and given to Musitano during the Friday hearing, prosecutors claim that the well-known defense lawyer has previously represented the mother of the child victim in the case.

Hoffmann said Musitano was the victim's mother's lawyer in a criminal case in Falls City Court, though she said she was uncertain what charges the woman had faced.

Musitano told Murphy he didn't remember representing her.

"I'll have to review (his case files) to see what this was," Musitano said. 

He also said Scott denies any involvement in the shooting of the child.

Scott is accused of being the triggerman who fired into a car parked in front of the Hometown Market at 17th Street and Pierce Avenue. The shooting took place just after 1 p.m., at a time when the convenience store was busy and people were out walking in the neighborhood.

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, who is now 3-years-old, suffered "two gunshots 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.

COURTS