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Buffalo teen acquitted of shooting witness in gang murder trial

A 19-year-old man was acquitted Tuesday on charges that he tried to murder a prosecution witness in the trial of a gang member sentenced last year to more than a century in prison for killing two and wounding several others.

David L. White appeared stunned when the “not guilty” verdict was announced on charges of first- and second-degree attempted murder. White hugged his attorney and put his head on the table in front of him while the jurors filed out.

Devoreaux Hollingsworth had testified that White shot him twice in the legs on Feb. 13. He was not in the courtroom for the verdict.

Prosecutors maintained that White shot Hollingsworth in retaliation for Hollingsworth’s testimony against Diamond Lewis last October. Lewis, a member of the Keystone gang, went on a yearlong shooting spree following the shooting deaths of two of his friends, “Big Mike” Smith and Kristopher Pride, in 2013.

Lewis last year was sentenced to 131 years in prison for shooting eight people and killing two.

When police interviewed White in the Hollingsworth shooting, a detective asked him about his tattoos, which memorialize Pride and Smith.

White didn’t testify in his trial, but jurors did hear him on the video of the interview. In it, he denies shooting Hollingsworth and said he only recognized his picture from “being on TV.”

Prosecutors pointed out that during Lewis’ weeklong trial last year, White came to court one day as a spectator – the day that Hollingsworth testified.

Watching a trial is not a crime, defense attorney Emily Trott pointed out. Although Trott did not put on any witnesses for the defense, she used cross-examinations and closing statement to paint Hollingsworth as an unreliable witness and to suggest that, had a person been trying to murder Hollingsworth on Feb. 13 – a person standing over him, firing a weapon while the 350-pound man rolled on the ground – Hollingsworth would have been dead.

Outside of court after the verdict, Trott reiterated her belief that it was unlikely that White was the gunman, despite Hollingsworth’s testimony. She said White had almost no criminal record and was not suspected in any other violent or gang-related crimes

 

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