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Acquittals, conviction in Crossgates shooting case

Acquittals, conviction in Crossgates shooting case

Defendant not guilty of top charges
Acquittals, conviction in Crossgates shooting case
Colonie Police officers stand by as shoppers evacuate Crossgates Mall, Nov. 12, 2016.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

The man accused of firing twice inside the crowded Crossgates Mall has been acquitted on top charges, including attempted murder, but convicted of reckless endangerment, officials said.

Tasheem Maeweather, 20, of Albany, was convicted Friday afternoon of first-degree reckless endangerment. He faces 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison at his June sentencing.

The same jury acquitted him of attempted murder, attempted assault and weapons possession.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares called the case a reminder that illegal guns remain a problem in all communities and said that Maeweather "violated our sense of safety."

Maeweather's attorney Lee Kindlon, however, said he expects to appeal. He noted that the jury acquitted on the weapons count, but convicted on the endangerment count. 

"If jury said he didn't even have a gun, then the question becomes on appeal, is the verdict inconsistent?" Kindlon said.

The Albany County jury issued its verdict Friday afternoon after a whirlwind trial that saw jury selection and opening statements complete on Monday and a verdict by Friday.

Maeweather was accused of opening fire near the Apple store inside the mall Nov. 12 after an argument with another group of patrons. No one was hurt, but the shooting sent scared shoppers fleeing from the building.

Prosecutors argued that, if the angle of a bullet that lodged in the back of an escalator had been a few feet over, the bullet would have gone through "Santa Land," where families lined up for photos ahead of the Christmas season.

Maeweather's defense, however, argued that Maeweather was there, but fled like everyone else and that only a mistaken off-duty state trooper could identify Maeweather as the shooter.

Kindlon argued that the off-duty trooper simply got it wrong.

"We were able to show through the trial that he missed a lot of key details that, upon video review, showed he was just wrong," Kindlon said. "If he was wrong about some things, the story can't be believed."

Maeweather's sentence could be consecutive to a nine-year term he is already serving related to a prior Schenectady drug conviction.

Maeweather had been on probation for the prior crime at the time of the mall shooting. His GPS monitor, placing him at the mall, was introduced at his mall trial.

A judge found he violated his probation in a December hearing and re-sentenced him to nine years in state prison.

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