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City Grill witness takes plea deal in drug case

One of the eyewitnesses in the City Grill shootings pleaded guilty Tuesday to a money-laundering charge.

Mykale King, who was praised by prosecutors for testifying against the City Grill shooter, was one of three defendants to take a plea deal in an unrelated case involving a cocaine-distribution network.

King, 24, was one of 25 people arrested in December of 2009 and accused of taking part in a drug conspiracy involving the violent Central Park Gang, or CPG.

King, who was at City Grill when the Aug. 14, 2010, shootings occurred, testified she saw Riccardo M. McCray with a gun that night.

McCray was later convicted of three counts of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of four people outside the downtown Main Street restaurant.

During McCray's trial, King testified that she never saw McCray shoot the gun but that she did see him crossing the Metro Rail tracks coming "straight toward the bar with a gun in his hand."

The federal charges against King came up during her testimony at the trial, and McCray's lawyer tried to suggest that she and other witnesses came forward only because they wanted reduced charges or more lenient sentences.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, called her courageous for testifying against McCray.

Two other defendants in the cocaine conspiracy case -- Jesse Hughes, 32, of Houston, and Yolanda Hodge, 35, of Buffalo -- also took plea deals before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Hughes pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, and Hodge pleaded guilty to using a communication facility to commit a controlled substance offense.

email: pfairbanks@buffnews.com