Tuesday, October 23, 2007
One of two men accused in Duquesne shooting pleads guilty
PITTSBURGH -- One of two men accused of shooting at five
Duquesne University basketball players after a school dance pleaded
guilty to attempted homicide and other counts Tuesday.
Derek Scott Lee, 19, of Pittsburgh, was sentenced to seven to 14
years in prison. He pleaded guilty to five counts of attempted
homicide and aggravated assault, plus one count of conspiracy and a
Lee fired two shots, but neither hit the players, said Lisa
Pellegrini, an assistant district attorney for Allegheny County.
Lee has not agreed to cooperate with authorities, but pleaded
guilty because he had faced more than 100 years in jail if
convicted at trial, said Lee's attorney, Wendy Williams.
Lee declined to address Judge Lawrence J. O'Toole's court before
being sentenced. He was "not emotionally able to," Williams said.
"He takes responsibility for his actions and he's not trying to
take anyone else down," she said.
Stuard Baldonado, Aaron Jackson, Shawn James, Kojo Mensah and Sam Ashaolu were shot early Sept. 17, 2006, as they returned from a dance. Ashaolu was shot twice in the head.
Lee fired at the players after an argument over a woman who
attended the dance with the co-defendants and flirted with some
players, Pellegrini said.
None of the five attended Tuesday's hearing.
Baldonado and Ashaolu missed the season because of the
James was shot in the foot, Mensah in the arm and Jackson in the
wrist. All three have recovered and are expected to start this
Ashaolu, who still has bullet fragments in his head, is back in
school and expects to play next season.
Baldonado, shot in the left arm and back, is suspended and
unlikely to return to Duquesne following several arrests this year.
Duquesne athletic director Greg Amodio declined to comment and
said the school would "let the legal proceedings come to
conclusion before we formally comment."
Jury selection was scheduled to begin later this week for the
other alleged shooter, William Holmes, 19, of Pittsburgh, and two
women accused of crimes for their roles in the shooting.