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Buffalo man sentenced on weapons charge tied to shooting of boy

A Buffalo man involved in a shootout that left an 11-year-old boy shot in the head was sentenced Thursday morning to 10 years in prison.

Detavion D. Magee was found guilty last month after a non-jury trial of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Juan Rodriguez, then 11, was shot in the head on Humason Avenue on June 29, 2016, by a yet-unknown gunman in a passing vehicle who was shooting at Magee. Authorities believe Rodriguez was hit by a stray bullet from a high-powered rifle.

Magee, who was struck by a bullet in the chest, showed no regard for the residents of the Humason Avenue neighborhood when he pulled out his illegal gun and exchanged gunfire, Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio said before she pronounced the sentence.

Residents should not have to tolerate gunfire in their neighborhoods, the judge said, calling Magee's actions "erratic and thoughtless and criminal behavior."

Juan Rodriguez had to wear a helmet to protect his head because a piece of his skull was removed.
(Photo provided by Rodriguez's family)

Erie County Assistant District Attorney Eugene T. Partridge III asked DiTullio to sentence Magee to the maximum sentence of 15 years. Partridge described the shootout as between members of two gangs.

Jeremy Schwartz, Magee's defense attorney, told the judge his client is not a gang member. Schwartz said he plans to file an appeal of the conviction, and Magee did not make a statement in court before the judge issued the sentence because of the appeal plans.

Last summer was not the first time Magee was hit by gunfire. He was previously shot Dec. 26, 2014, Partridge said.

After last summer's shootout, Magee told police individuals from "Central Park" have been after him for years. "Central Park" is believed to have been a reference to CPG, or the Central Park Gang.

Prosecutors said Magee was a member of a rival gang known as "Hummy," for Humason Avenue.

During the trial, one of Magee's defense attorneys said it was the same people who shot him in 2014 who were shooting at him in June 2016.

The judge found Magee not guilty of an assault charge at trial. The DA's office said Magee turned down a plea offer.

Charging a person who fired a gun with assault just for participating in a shootout even though someone else's bullet hit the victim is a more difficult case to make, said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr.

Flynn said his office will continue to pursue this type of prosecution.

"It is these very gunfights that are wreaking havoc on these neighborhoods," he said.

Rodriguez testified at the trial in May he didn't remember hearing gunshots or any other part of the shooting. Authorities said the boy, now 13, ran to the front door of his home when he heard gunshots and got his younger siblings, who were playing outside, to come in the house.

He was partially paralyzed and also suffered vision damage after the bullet traveled through his brain, authorities said.

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