By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — The third and final suspect facing a trial in connection with a South End shootout has taken a plea deal from prosecutors.
In a brief proceeding in Niagara County Court Wednesday morning, Jacob Taggart pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted second-degree gang assault. He faces a maximum term of seven years behind bars when he and his two co-defendants, Paul Buck and Marlyn Rubin, are sentenced on March 21.
Buck and Rubin each previously pleaded guilty to a single count of second-degree assault in the case. Like Taggart, they will each face a maximum seven year prison sentence.
Judge Matthew J. Murphy III has no commitment on a cap on the number of years that any of the three men may serve.
The trio were accused of spraying bullets at the corner of 12th and Niagara streets during a confrontation with a group of men who were standing there in April.
During his plea hearing, Buck admitted to being a “shooter” during the incident. At his plea proceeding, Rubin said Taggart was also armed with a gun.
The victim of the shooting said he saw two gunmen firing at him.
However, Taggart told Murphy only that he was in a car with Buck and Rubin and had driven them to the confrontation “for a fistfight.”
The three men had faced charges of first-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment
Detectives insisted the trio were all involved in the hail of gunfire that 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
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. He has now recovered from his wounds.
Rubin was arrested the day after the shooting, Buck was taken into custody, without incident, in the area of 24th Street and Whitney Avenue a few days later.
Taggart was arrested a couple of weeks later, after a brief stand-off with Town of Amherst Police.