An 18-year-old Gibson Street man pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with a shooting that paralyzed a 15-year-old girl.
Damone Lewis shot at Angelica Soto five times – striking her twice – at about 9:50 p.m. Aug. 30, 2012, on Walden and Wood avenues on the East Side.
Lewis faces a prison term of up to 25 years when sentenced Dec. 9 by Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio.
“He shot a 15-year-old girl and put her in a wheelchair the rest of her life,” said Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.
“We intend to ask for the maximum, which is 25 years. And we expect that he will get the maximum, if not something very close to it.”
Angelica and other girls had an altercation with Lewis’ girlfriend about 15 minutes before the shooting, during which Angelica asked the girlfriend if she was going to get “your boyfriend to shoot me now.”
When Lewis arrived and confronted Angelica, he asked, “Did you jump my girl?”
After Angelica told him that she did not think he would do anything, he fired five times at her, including three times as she lay on the ground, Sedita said.
As Lewis fled the scene, he said, “I don’t give a (expletive) about nobody,” according to court records.
Angelica is paralyzed from the waist down, Sedita said.
Lewis is also charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon for the Aug. 8, 2012, fatal shooting of Jeremy Thomas.
Thomas, 23, was shot in the head and chest, and died of his wounds two weeks later in Erie County Medical Center.
Jury selection was to have begun this week for Lewis’ trial on all of the charges.
After DiTullio separated the cases, Lewis decided to plead guilty to the charges in Angelica’s shooting but indicated he would go to trial for the murder charge.
Sedita said he agreed to the plea in Angelica’s case because Lewis pleaded guilty to the highest charge.
“It saves this girl from having to testify,” Sedita said.