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PERJURY PROBE ORDERED AS JURY CLEARS KILLER IN SHOOTING CASE

David S. Sell, a convicted Buffalo murderer, was acquitted Wednesday of trying to shoot another man on Brickman Street in 1996.

Shortly after the verdict, the judge in the case ordered prosecutors to begin an investigation of possible perjury.

At the conclusion of a two-day trial, Sell, 23, was found innocent in the street shooting, which could have added at least 7 1/2 years to the sentence of 47 years to life imprisonment he already faces in the 1995 murder of Sheldon Newkirk, 23.

The jury deliberated for two hours before acquitting him of felony reckless endangerment and a weapons count in the Nov. 24, 1996, attempted shooting of Derrick Staley, 25.

State Supreme Court Justice Mario J. Rossetti, who sent Sell to prison for the Newkirk murder, directed prosecutor Vincent G. LoTempio to begin the perjury investigation centering on three defense witnesses.

District Attorney Frank J. Clark and John J. DeFranks, first deputy district attorney, said their senior staff will review the trial testimony in line with the judge's order. Neither would say whether there would be a formal perjury investigation.

Michael P. Clohessy, Sell's attorney, said the testimony of Sell's fiance, Mia Morris, 22; Lakisha Leonard, 21; and Sell's cousin, Jason Washington, 22, was truthful.

The three talked about what they and Sells were doing hours before and after the Brickman Street shooting.

Staley, 25, testified that Sell fired four shots at him from about seven feet away.

But Clohessy said that Staley was not hurt and that police found no shell casings or other physical evidence to substantiate his assertions.

Court officials said both Staley and Sell, who fathered children with another Buffalo woman, argued by telephone hours before the alleged incident.

Ms. Morris, Ms. Leonard and Washington testified that they were with Sell in a bar from 8 p.m. the day of the alleged shooting until 4 a.m. the next morning and never saw Staley.

LoTempio, however, proved that the bar was closed that night.

Since last September, Sell, formerly of Davidson Avenue, has been serving a life sentence in the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden after having been convicted of murdering Newkirk on the victim's porch at 29 Boehm Place on Oct. 21, 1995.