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Charges filed in Schenectady shooting of mother, children

Charges filed in Schenectady shooting of mother, children

Injured children improving, prosecutor says
Charges filed in Schenectady shooting of mother, children
Dushawn Howard as he's arrested July 10
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

SCHENECTADY -- The man accused of shooting his girlfriend and two of her children last week has been officially charged.

Dushawn Howard, 47, was charged Tuesday with three separate counts of second-degree attempted murder. All three victims survived.

If convicted on each as separate acts, he would face up to 75 years in state prison.

The prosecutor in the case on Tuesday gave general updates on the conditions of both children, ages 7 and 16.

Both children are improving, prosecutor Christina Tremante-Pelham said. She did not have a firm update on the mother's condition, Howard's 35-year-old ex-girlfriend, but Tremante-Pelham said she is expected to survive.

Police arrested Howard within hours of the July 10 shooting, which took place at 1373 Union St. Howard fled the Union Street home and was captured at a Summit Avenue address with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Howard has been hospitalized at Albany Medical Center since the shooting. Police formally charged him Tuesday and he was arraigned in his hospital room.

Prosecutor John Carson of the Schenectady County District Attorney's Office and Howard's defense attorney, Adam Parisi, were present, Tremante-Pelham said.

Because the arraignment happened in Albany, Schenectady County Court Judge Matthew Sypniewski traveled to the hospital and presided.

Howard was arraigned and ordered held. The judge set a return date of Monday for a possible hearing and prosecutors indicated their intent to present the case to a grand jury. The Monday hearing would be canceled if an indictment is returned by then. 

Last week's violence erupted just before 1 p.m. at the Union Street apartment. A 1-year-old child in the home at the time was unharmed.

The shooting happened about three months after the woman told police she feared for her and her children's lives as Howard had previously threatened to shoot each if the woman left Howard.

She spoke to police after Howard repeatedly punched her in the face at the 1373 Union St. address. 

The incident resulted in multiple misdemeanor charges against Howard, a two-day jail stay on $1,000 bail and a full stay-away order of protection for both the woman and her children, records show.

Howard's name has been spelled multiple ways in both documents and by police. Tuesday's press release announcing the charges spelled it Dashawn Howard. He's also been referred to as Deshawn Howard, Dushawn Howard and Sean Howard in this incident or in previous cases. Tremante-Pelham said Dushawn Howard is the form they are using.

Howard has spent three stints in state prison dating back to 1992, one stint each for robbery, attempted weapons possession and drugs, records show. His most recent stint came after a 2006 Schenectady County drug possession case where he served two years, six months.

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