Schenectady County

Eastern Avenue shooter faces prison on weapon conviction

The man accused of firing a gun five times on Eastern Avenue last September faces up to 15 years in

The man accused of firing a gun five times on Eastern Avenue last September faces up to 15 years in state prison after being convicted of a weapons charge, the man’s attorney said.

Tasheem Bell, 22, formerly of Manhattan Street, was also convicted of a felony reckless endangerment count, along with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Bell, however, was acquitted on a more serious first-degree assault count, as well as other charges. The assault count carried the possibility of up to 25 years in state prison.

Bell’s attorney Michael Mansion said Monday the jury’s verdict means jurors found that Bell possessed a gun, and fired it, but not that he meant to injure anybody with it.

“The jury apparently believed that the defendant Bell was the shooter, they put the gun in his hands,” Mansion said, “but there were elements of the crime that were charged that just weren’t met.”

Mansion said there were issues with Bell’s intent. Witnesses testified to seeing sparks on the street. The victim’s wound also suggested a ricochet from below.

That suggested Bell wasn’t aiming to seriously injure, Mansion said.

Bell stood trial last week in Schenectady County Court on the charges. The jury came back with its verdict around 5 p.m. Friday.

Bell was accused of seriously injuring 18-year-old Chadaejzhia Tulloch, shooting her in the right calf Sept. 6, 2010. Five shell casings were found at the scene.

The shooting stemmed from a dispute earlier in the day where Bell took marijuana from another woman, then later punched her in the face, prosecutors said.

Prosecutor Amy Monahan argued in her opening statements that when the dispute erupted into a possible fistfight later with the woman’s brother or boyfriend, Bell responded by getting a gun. Tulloch taunted him and he fired, hitting her in the calf.

Mansion also said there were questions about whether Tulloch’s injuries rose to the level of first-degree assault.

The bullet that hit Tulloch remains in her leg, and she testified she has lasting sensation effects and pain in her leg.

But Mansion said there was also testimony that suggested the wound hasn’t had serious lasting effects.

In addition to the weapons and reckless endangerment convictions, Bell was convicted of misdemeanor menacing and violation harassment, Mansion said.

Bell is to be sentenced next month.

Monahan couldn’t be reached for comment Monday. The case was tried before acting Schenectady County Court Judge Frank P. Milano.

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