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Jury: Howard guilty in shooting of ex, two children in Schenectady

Jury: Howard guilty in shooting of ex, two children in Schenectady

All three survived; Dushawn Howard faces more than 75 years in prison
Jury: Howard guilty in shooting of ex, two children in Schenectady
Dushawn Howard, right, with his attorney Mark Sacco as the verdict was read
Photographer: Peter R. Barber/Gazette Photographer

SCHENECTADY -- A Schenectady County Court jury Wednesday convicted Dushawn Howard in the 2018 attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend and two of her children.

The jury returned its verdict just after 10 a.m., after deliberating for several hours Tuesday.

In all, the jury convicted Howard, 48, on 18 of 20 counts against him, including three top counts of second-degree attempted murder.

Prosecutors in closing arguments Tuesday cited Howard’s shifting narrative, and said he repeatedly attempted to pin the blame for his actions on others.

“Dushawn Howard sees himself as a victim,” Schenectady County District Attorney Robert M. Carney said in a statement issued following the verdict. “We see him as a monster, a man who points a revolver at innocent children and pulls the trigger.”

The jury found Howard shot and attempted to kill Aishah Goodwin, along with her 7-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter last July at 1373 Union St. Each survived.

The jury acquitted Howard on two counts, one attempted murder related to the infant son of Goodwin and Howard. Prosecutors contended Howard tried to shoot the boy, but the gun didn't go off. The infant was not physically harmed.

Goodwin was present for Wednesday's verdict. She left quickly after it was read. Later, prosecutor Christina Tremante-Pelham relayed Goodwin's reaction. Goodwin expressed gratitude to all those who helped after the shooting, including law enforcement, paramedics and the staff who saw the case through to Wednesday's verdict. 

Howard initially showed no emotion, but his eyes appeared to well up and he could be seen turning to his mother, who was present in the gallery.

Howard faces up to 75 years in state prison on the attempted murder convictions alone, representing potential consecutive 25-year terms. His other convictions appeared to bring the possibility of additional time. 

Howard is to be sentenced June 13.

Carney said the verdict “spoke the truth” about the ordeal Howard put the family through.

“We will ask Judge [Kathleen] Hogan to impose a sentence that reflects the harm he caused and his potential to do so again as long as he lives.”

Prosecutors haven't yet calculated the potential sentence lengths for each individual charge.

“Ultimately he’s looking at a sentence that in essence, would be a life sentence for him," Tremante-Pelham said.

Goodwin testified at trial that Howard was fulfilling a pledge to kill her and their children if she left him.

Howard claimed the shootings happened during a chaotic argument that resulted in a struggle for the firearm, which he said he bought for $400 to protect his stepson from local gang members.

Tremante-Pelham told the jury in closing arguments Tuesday that Howard made his intent clear, to kill, and that his explanation defied logic.

“Those people in the house that day were incredibly lucky," Tremante-Pelham said Wednesday. "He was a failure at being a killer, but he wanted to be a killer.”

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