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SUSPECT IN SLAYING PLEADS GUILTY TO LESSER CHARGE

Tariq Molson pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced manslaughter charge in the fatal shooting of Eugene Marshall at the Commodore Perry Housing Project last December.

Molson, 20, of South Park Avenue, told Erie County Judge John V. Rogowski he intended to hurt Marshall but didn't mean to kill him after the victim allegedly pulled a gun on him after demanding free drugs.

Molson pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter for killing Marshall, 41, of Fulton Street, and the judge told Molson he would "cap" his impending prison term at between 10 and 20 years.

Marshall was shot once in the upper body last Dec. 5. Kevin W. Spitler, Molson's attorney, noted the judge was sparing his client a possible 25-year prison term on his plea.

Prosecutor Jonathan E. Coughlan told the judge the district attorney's office was willing to drop a second-degree murder charge, which a grand jury lodged against Molson in February, because the plea "adequately and appropriately" deals with the fatal shooting.

Coughlan also said the victim's relatives had been consulted about the plea deal. Rogowski ordered Molson to remain jailed without bail pending his Nov. 24 sentencing.

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