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Attorney tries to win dismissal of charges in shooting of 2-year-old

LOCKPORT – The attorney for Willie R. Scott Jr., a Niagara Falls man charged with shooting a 2-year-old girl in the face as he was allegedly trying to shoot someone else, said Monday he will file a motion to dismiss the charges.

Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III gave E. Earl Key two weeks to do so, and set argument for July 2. But he also scheduled a trial in the case for Sept. 23.

Key contended that prosecutors violated the rules by belatedly giving him a copy of a statement by Timothy Ellison, a witness to the shooting, in which Ellison allegedly said he didn’t see who shot the girl. That was apparently changed in a second statement.

Scott, 32, of LaSalle Avenue, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree criminal use of a firearm. The shooting occurred Nov. 27 as the girl, and a man whom police have said was the intended target, sat in a car outside the Hometown Market on Pierce Avenue in Niagara Falls.

Key charged that Detective Patricia McCune, who took Ellison’s first statement, should have testified before the grand jury. Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann commented that Key hasn’t received the grand jury minutes and doesn’t know who testified. Key wouldn’t say how he knows that McCune allegedly did not take the stand.