Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT -- Marlyn Rubin doesn't know yet if he will get a separate trail from his co-defendants.
But he does know he won't get a plea deal from prosecutors.
During a brief hearing in Niagara County Court on Monday, Rubin again rejected an offer from prosecutors to plea to a lesser charge and testify against his two co-defendants in connection with a South End shootout in April.
"We had previously offered a plea (to a lesser charge) with a seven year (maximum sentence)," First Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann said. "I have advised (Rubin's defense attorney) that if that plea is not taken today, it will not be offered again."
Defense attorney Philip Dabney said his client still wasn't interested in a deal. When Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III asked Rubin, directly, if he understood this was his last chance for a plea, he replied that he did and that he did not want to take the DA's offer.
In mid-October, Dabney had asked Murphy to "severe" Rubin's trial from his co-defendants Jacob Taggart and Paul Buck. Dabney told Murphy that his client should not be tried along with Buck and Taggart because Buck gave a statement to Falls police detectives.
Prosecutors fired back that nothing Buck said to investigators would impact Rubin's defense.
Murphy had been scheduled to rule on Dabney's request on Monday, but said he could not. The judge said he first had to decide whether or not Buck's statement to cops could even be used by prosecutors at his trial.
A hearing on whether the statement can be used is scheduled for mid-December.
"I think we need to complete that hearing before I can rule (on a separate trial for Rubin)," Murphy said.
Buck and Taggart have also rejected plea offers from prosecutors that would have allowed them to plead guilty to lesser charges, but required them to testify against their co-defendants.
All three are charged with first-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment. Prosecutors offered them the chance to plead guilty to either second-degree assault or attempted second-degree gang assault.
Detectives have said the trio were all involved in a hail of gunfire at a South End intersection on April 25. The shooting, in the area of 12th and Niagara streets left a Falls teen with gunshot wounds to his arm and chest.
Witnesses told detectives a dark-colored car, with three men inside, rolled up on a group of young men who were gathered on the street corner. The suspects in the car then reportedly tried to start a fight with the men who were on the corner.
As the yelling between the men in the car and the men on the corner escalated, two of the suspects in the car brandished handguns. As the men on the corner began to run away, the armed suspects began firing at them.
Detectives said Anthony McDougald, 18, was shot in the left arm near his bicep. The bullet then went through the arm and entered his chest.
McDougald was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and then transferred to the Erie County Medical Center. He eventually recovered from his wounds.
Rubin, 19, was arrested the day after the shooting. Buck, 20, was taken into custody, without incident, in the area of 24th Street and Whitney Avenue a few days later.
Taggart, 23, was arrested a couple of weeks later, after a brief stand-off with Town of Amherst Police. Acting on what they said was a tip, Amherst cops converged on a Niagara Falls Boulevard motel and took Taggart into custody at gunpoint.
He’d been holed up in a motel in the town with his girlfriend.