A Buffalo man was acquitted this week in a 2013 shooting on the East Side.
A State Supreme Court jury on Tuesday found Marshawn Levy, 30, of Weber Avenue, not guilty of two counts of first-degree assault during the trial before Justice Penny M. Wolfgang.
Levy, represented by defense attorneys Andrew C. LoTempio and Jessica Kulpit, was accused of firing shots at a man with whom he had just fought on Freund Street, striking the man’s 21-year-old sister and breaking her heel bone.
Three months after the Aug. 10, 2013 shooting, Levy, who had fled the scene, was arrested after the victim gave police a statement identifying him as the shooter.
But she refused to testify before a grand jury, claiming she did not care about the case, Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said.
Prosecutors got a material witness warrant compelling her to testify, he said. Based on her testimony and that of other witnesses, Levy was indicted.
During the trial, the victim “once again expressed her reluctance to testify as well as her anger at the prosecutor calling her to do so,” Sedita said.
He said she testified that someone else shot her, “despite the fact that she had identified him (Levy) as the shooter in a sworn statement and in her sworn grand jury testimony.”
The prosecution also called an eyewitness who identified Levy as the shooter and another witness who testified she saw Levy with a gun at the crime scene seconds after the shooting.
Following the acquittal, one juror cited the fact that the gun was not recovered as an important factor in the jury’s decision, Sedita said.
Sedita noted that despite the victim’s “disinterest and hostility,” as well as the lack of physical and forensic evidence, his office took the case to trial.
He said the case “undermines the ignorant claims (often made under the cover of anonymity) of those who allege that a case will not be prosecuted unless it is a so-called ‘slam dunk.’”
He added that the case, “although resulting in a rare acquittal, once again demonstrates” that his office “aggressively prosecutes indicted criminals, especially when a violent felony is committed.”