Jury deliberations continued Wednesday at the Hall of Justice for Johnny Blackshell Jr., the alleged trigger man in deadly shooting outside the Boys & Girls Club on Genesee Street in 2015.
Tuesday, proceedings were put on hold while the defense tried to track down a key witness. The jury is charged with determining if Blackshell Jr. is guilty of over a dozen charges, including three counts of 1st degree murder.
In their closing arguments, Johnny Blackshell Jr.’s attorney, Joe D’Amelio, said Blackshell is innocent of killing Raekwon Manigualt, Jonah Barley, and Johnny Johnson. D’Amelio says, “Evidence or credible evidence in this case doesn’t put him at the scene.”
A security video of the shooting was used as evidence, but it was too dark to see who was in the car, opening fire.
D’Amelio continued, “Three people killed, three people shot. Someone has to be blamed for it. The assignment of that blame has to be placed on somebody. That blame was placed on my client, Johnny Blackshell. At first blush, when you put that first coat of paint on, it looks pretty, it looks good, it looks finished, but what happens when that first coat of paint dries? The color underneath it always bleeds through.”
The prosecution said despite a camera not seeing, or not having a witness see Blackshell Jr. in the car, there is still ample evidence that ties him to the car and the murder weapon.
The prosecutor, Perry Duckles says, “We’ve done that through his admissions on the intercepted jail calls where he admits to hiding the gun, where he admits to trying to have the car towed.”
In a taped conversation, Blackshell Jr. said something was not premeditated. What that he meant by something was disagreed upon by both the defense and prosecution.
The prosecution believes he was talking about the killings. “He says the incident wasn’t premeditated. Premeditation is not something you have to prove. Premeditation is not intent, ladies and gentleman,” Duckles said.
The prosecution argues the shooting at the Boys & Girls Club was in retaliation for a shooting that happened at Blackshell Jr.’s friend’s house.