Schenectady County

Alleged gang member guilty of attempting to murder man in Schenectady

An accused trigger man for the Four Block Gang was convicted Tuesday of trying to kill a man over a

An accused trigger man for the Four Block Gang was convicted Tuesday of trying to kill a man over a Family Court decision.

Curtis Perkins, 23, of Schenectady, now faces up to 25 years in state prison, possibly on top of a seven-year sentence he is already serving in a prior weapons case. And he still faces charges in a federal conspiracy case related to the Four Block Gang, accused of participating in the gang and, at one point, shooting at a rival gang member.

In the attempted murder case tried in Schenectady County Court, gang involvement was not a factor. Prosecutors alleged Perkins tried to kill the father of his girlfriend’s child. The shooting happened the same day the father won a Family Court ruling granting unsupervised visitation with the child.

The Schenectady County Court jury found Perkins tried to shoot at the father, Ashton McNeal, on Jan. 3. It was only a gun malfunction that allowed McNeal to survive, prosecutor Amy Monahan said. Perkins got the gun to work, but not until McNeal and another man were fleeing. Prosecutors said Perkins then fired and missed.

Perkins’ attorney, Fred Rench, argued that Perkins was a convenient target for the accusations, but that his client wasn’t there and wasn’t involved. Only McNeal got a look at the shooter and identified him as Perkins, Rench pointed out.

Rench said he and Perkins were disappointed in the jury’s verdict, though Perkins showed little reaction when it was read early Tuesday/

The case was tried before acting Schenectady County Court Judge Polly Hoye. Perkins is to be sentenced in December.

Perkins was convicted in this case without the jury knowing about the prior weapons case or the federal gang allegations. Perkins had already pleaded guilty to the weapons charge prior to the Jan. 3 shooting. He was free as he awaited sentencing.

Due to his arrest in the shooting, the judge in the weapons case increased his sentence to the maximum, up to seven years in prison.

Perkins also faces much more time in a federal conspiracy case. He was one of several people indicted in May, accused of being an active member of the Four Block Gang that operated in Schenectady and firing a gun at a rival gang member in July 2010.

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