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Accidental gunfire leads to jail

A tearful Jamilah Williams was sentenced to six months in jail Friday despite pleas for leniency from her boyfriend also her shooting victim -- after a judge said her allegedly playful bedroom gunfire was another example of this community's problems with illegal guns.

State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller imposed the jail term and five years' probation on her Nov. 4 guilty pleas to attempted weapons possession and second-degree assault.

Prosecutor Sara N. Ogden said Williams, 22, of Sears Street, shot Antuan Walters, 25, in the stomach as he lay in his bed at 127 Wolft Ave. while she was twirling the unlicensed pistol she carried in her purse. The shooting occurred at about 12:30 a.m. June 19.

Walters agreed to the plea, Ogden said. For a time, he was in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center, the prosecutor said. He has since recovered.

On Friday, both Walters and defense attorney John K. Jordan stressed the accidental nature of the gunfire. But Boller reminded them that she had fired an "illicit handgun," making the incident another chapter in the problems the Buffalo community is facing with illegal gun use.

"Guns are killing people in our community, and this could have been another statistic," the judge stressed in imposing the jail term. Before he had Williams taken into custody, the judge told her such "violent" crimes routinely result in prison terms in his court.

In addition to the five-year probationary sentence, the judge also ordered Williams to submit to substance abuse testing and treatment, if ordered, and pay $375 in court fees.

Free on bail until Friday, Williams tearfully told the judge her "unthinkable" crime was unintentional and she stressed that Walters is both "my lover and my best friend." The two have a 7-year-old daughter.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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