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Statements, rifle ruled OK for trial in Facebook Live shooting case

Statements, rifle ruled OK for trial in Facebook Live shooting case

Police needed to know what was in duffel bag during stand-off, judge says
Statements, rifle ruled OK for trial in Facebook Live shooting case
Anthony Logan, 23, leaves during a break in testimony last week in Schenectady County Court.
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ

SCHENECTADY — A judge decided on Tuesday to allow contested evidence in the case against a man whose shooting by police was captured on Facebook Live last summer.

Anthony Logan, 23, appeared in court last week for a three-day hearing on evidence in the case, during which his lawyers argued that a sawed-off rifle Logan allegedly tossed to a neighboring property during the stand-off should not be used as evidence against him, because police were in the wrong when they went into the building to retrieve it.

Judge Joseph C. Teresi has ruled that both Logan's alleged statements to police and the sawed-off rifle can be used at his trial, according to attorneys involved in the case.

No trial date has been set, though the conclusion of the evidence hearing is one of the last steps required before it can begin.

The June 5 incident gained widespread attention because a bystander broadcast it live on Facebook. 

Police were called to the residence that day for a report of a man choking a woman. That soon turned into a stand-off, as officers tried to convince Logan to let the woman leave the building and surrender peacefully, according to police reports.

The woman escaped, and about two minutes later, as is visible in the Facebook Live video, and according to police testimony, Logan made a sudden movement with an object in his hand and four officers opened fire. No gun was found on the balcony or inside the apartment.

Logan was hit with two bullets and continues to use a walker, six months after the incident.

WARNING: Video of the shooting was captured on Facebook Live. The shooting occurs near the 25-minute mark. Graphic video and language.

A central issue for the defense at the hearing concerned a duffel bag that police said was seen being tossed into an apparently vacant building next door early on in the incident. Officers found the sawed-off rifle inside.

Logan's attorney, Brendan Keller, argued police illegally entered the neighboring building to get the bag without a warrant, so the gun should be inadmissible as evidence.

Prosecutor Peter Willis argued the stand-off warranted the immediate seizure of the bag and that Logan, in any event, could make no legal claim to the vacant building.

At the time they saw the duffel bag tossed to the vacant building, officers had yet to make contact with either Logan or the woman inside the other home. Officers testified at the hearing that they needed to get the bag to learn more about what was going on inside the other home.

Judge Teresi agreed that the circumstances warranted the search and that Logan had no claim to that building.

In addition to the two felony weapon possession counts, Logan faces two misdemeanor menacing counts "by displaying what appeared to be" a weapon toward police officers. He also faces misdemeanor unlawful imprisonment and criminal obstruction of breathing counts related to the incident that prompted the initial police call.

The indictment also includes criminal contempt, witness tampering and criminal solicitation counts, all misdemeanors, that accuse Logan of trying to convince a witness to refuse to testify.

Police have previously identified the four officers who fired as Nicholas Giardono, Timothy Rizzo, Douglas Smith and Detective Daniel McDonald.

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