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Charges dismissed in August shooting that injured boy
A York City man will not be facing a trial in an August shooting after a district judge deemed there was not enough evidence to proceed on Wednesday at his preliminary hearing.
Marquez Jabar McCowin, 28, of 1110 W. Poplar St., was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in August, after a 12-year-old boy was shot in the shoulder, police said. On Wednesday, his charges were dismissed.
Police had alleged McCowin showed up at the rear of a residence at 250 S. Penn St. about 3:45 a.m. Aug. 6 and fired at the home, striking the boy and the home as well as two vehicles parked nearby.
Hearing: On Wednesday, during McCowin's preliminary hearing at District Judge Joel Toluba's office, the prosecution brought four people to the stand.
The first was Cristina Harris, who said McCowin is the father of her son. She spoke to police when they arrived at the scene.
"I don't remember what I said," she said.
Senior deputy prosecutor Duane Ramseur then showed Harris body camera footage of that night, in which the prosecution alleges she told police that McCowin had shot the boy and that she had seen him shooting from the rear of the home.
Harris said she did not recall saying that.
The next person to testify was Albert McCowin, father of Marquez McCowin and boyfriend of Harris.
"Somebody shot through my house, for the third time this year," Albert McCowin recalled of that night. He said he and Marquez McCowin had been arguing that night, but he said he did not know who fired the shots at his home.
"I told them it was Quez," Albert McCowin said, but he said he had not told the officers the truth at the time.
The victim testified as well, telling the courtroom that he had been shot while he was sleeping but did not know who shot him.
Police testimony: York City Police Officer Joseph Collahan, who responded to the scene Aug. 6, was the last person to testify. Collahan reiterated what Harris told him and what was in the body camera footage, but he also said Albert McCowin told him Marquez McCowin shot at the home and at him.
Collahan said Albert McCowin told him there had been a fight earlier that night between his sons but they were separated. Collahan told the courtroom that Albert McCowin told him Marquez McCowin had come back later that night and shot from the backyard of the home.
Albert McCowin also told police that night that Marquez McCowin had fired at him as well and that Albert McCowin was watching the shooting from another area nearby, according to testimony.
Marquez McCowin's attorney, public defender Michael Rutt, asked the officer if the department had tested his client for gun residue and also asked if the officers had mapped out the gunshots to see if what the two had said at the time was possible. Collahan said because of the statements by Albert McCowin and Harris, they did not. The officer told the courtroom that Albert McCowin told officers that Marquez McCowin fired from two different spots.
Rutt also asked if a gun had been recovered from the incident, and Collahan said one was not recovered.
Dismissed: Toluba told the court that Harris is facing a charge of false reports to law enforcement from a previous incident, that Albert McCowin had admitted to lying to law enforcement and that there were "games" going on.
"The court recognizes that games are being played here, but our hands are tied," he said.
Toluba said since Harris had talked to officers while not under oath and now does not remember what she said, and since Albert McCowin said he lied to police, the case would be dismissed.
Following the hearing, Rutt told The York Dispatch that the law worked that day, and the case was dismissed, "as it should have" been.
Ramseur declined comment.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.