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Love triangle triggered New Year's Day killing, lawyer says

Nadiyah Whitaker is accused of killing another woman on New Year's Day.

The New Year’s Day shooting of Shanna Mason at a home on Gold Street was captured on video camera and the attorney for the woman charged with killing Mason says he will not dispute it.

Nadiyah Z. Whitaker, 31, of Cheektowaga pleaded not guilty in Erie County Court Tuesday morning to one charge of second degree murder and to criminal possession of a weapon in connection with Mason’s death.

In asking that Whitaker remain jailed without bail, Assistant District Attorney Colleen Curtin Gable mentioned the strength of the evidence.

“There is a video of the entire incident that shows the defendant firing multiple shots into the head and shoulders of the victim, who died instantly,” Gable said.

Mason, 30, was the mother of three children and worked as a nursing assistant.

Whitaker’s attorney, Thomas J. Eoannou, pointed out that his client also is a mother, with a 13-year-old son. Eoannou asked Judge Thomas P. Franczyk to consider setting bail at $75,000. The judge declined to set bail Tuesday but said he could reconsider at a later date.

Eoannou described Whitaker as a law-abiding, college-educated woman who snapped emotionally, triggered by someone acquiring a marriage license a day earlier.

“It involves a love triangle,” Eoannou said.

He declined to name the other person.

He also said after court that he believes the video of the crime, which occurred at about 10 a.m., is authentic, but he did not want to disclose its origins.

“Clearly it’s a case about the reason why, not who did it,” he said.

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