A 38-year-old Washington C.H. man was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree felony attempted aggravated murder for firing several gunshots into a Linden Avenue home on Aug. 10 with knowledge that a woman was inside.
At the conclusion of his trial in Fayette County Common Pleas Court, the jury also found Antonio Lamar Burrell “not guilty” of two other counts of attempt to commit aggravated murder. He was found guilty of one count of second-degree felony felonious assault and “not guilty” of two other felonious assault counts. The jury also found Burrell guilty of second-degree felony improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, third-degree felony discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises, third-degree felony having weapons under disability, and fourth-degree felony improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
Burrell was also found guilty of a firearms specification which will add a mandatory three-year prison term to the sentence handed down by Judge Steven Beathard. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. The maximum sentence for Burrell could be up to 26-and-a-half years in prison.
During the trial, it was revealed that the victim, who lives at 894 Linden Ave. in Washington C.H., called 911 at 1:36 a.m. Aug. 10 and told the dispatcher that after the shooting, she observed a white vehicle speed away heading toward Aspen Drive. She provided the names of two possible suspects – Burrell and Misty M. Carver. The victim, another adult and an 8-year-old child were reportedly inside the home when the shooting occurred. It is alleged that Carver was driving the vehicle and Burrell fired the shots into the house.
No one inside the house was struck during the shooting, however, one of the shotgun blasts narrowly missed a bed that the child usually sleeps in, said Washington Police Department Lt. Jon Long. Long said the shooting was allegedly the result of “a dispute over the theft of cigarettes from Burrell by (the victim).”
Although the jury found Burrell guilty of attempted aggravated murder of the victim who made the report, it did not find that there was sufficient proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Burrell had the purpose to kill any other occupants of the house.
Burrell’s statement to police was played during the trial. In his statement, Burrell indicated that he knew the female victim was in the house, but did not know there was another adult in the home and was surprised to learn there was an 8-year-old child present.
“We are satisfied with the verdict,” said Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade. “With the way the evidence played out, it was a logical verdict and I see how the jury came to that conclusion.”
Burrell did not testify at the trial. The jury deliberated for approximately an hour and 20 minutes before returning with the verdicts.
“We are going to recommend significant prison time,” Weade said. “As far as the exact amount, I have not made that determination yet.”
Following the call from the victim on Aug. 10, 2015, WPD officers and Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputies immediately responded to the scene.
As WPD Sgt. Shannon Long was driving to the scene northbound on Delaware Street, he encountered a white vehicle heading southbound. The vehicle matched the description of the vehicle provided to the dispatcher, police said.
Shannon Long made a traffic stop on the vehicle on Delaware Street near Market Street. The officer approached the vehicle and observed a shotgun located inside the vehicle on the rear passenger floorboard. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, identified as Carver, was questioned about the shotgun in the vehicle, but denied any knowledge of it being in the car, according to police.
Further investigation resulted in probable cause to arrest Carver and Burrell, police said. Burrell was arrested at his home.
Five empty shotgun shells that were allegedly found on the street in front of 894 Linden Ave. matched the gauge (12-gauge) of the shotgun located in Carver’s vehicle. “A box of unfired shotgun shells of the same manufacturer, gauge and shot-size were located inside Carver’s home at 835 Linden Avenue during a voluntary consent to search,” Long said.
The buckshot fired from the shotgun struck the vinyl siding of the house, shattered windows and impacted the walls inside the home, according to police.
Carver, 31, is facing three first-degree felony counts of complicity to attempted aggravated murder, three second-degree felony counts of complicity to felonious assault, a second-degree felony count of complicity to improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, a third-degree felony count of complicity to discharging a firearm on or near prohibited premises, and a fourth-degree felony count of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle. She is scheduled to go to trial in June.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica