More Charges Filed in Duquesne Shooting

Thursday, September 28th 2006, 2:32 pm
By: News On 6

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Prosecutors on Thursday dropped charges against one of two men accused of shooting five Duquesne University basketball players, but filed charges against two additional suspects.

All charges were dropped against Brandon Baynes, 18, of Penn Hills, in the Sept. 17 shooting after an on-campus dance party.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said the charges were dropped after a witness recanted her story. He would not identify the witness.

Zappala also announced charges against two other people: Derrick Lee, of Pittsburgh, and Erica R. Sager, of Wilkinsburg.

Lee, who police said is 18 or 19, is accused of shooting at the players. He is charged with five counts each of attempted homicide and aggravated assault. Sager was charged with five counts of aggravated assault and criminal solicitation.

Both were in police custody Thursday afternoon, Zappala said.

The shooting occurred as the basketball players left the dance. Several players told The Associated Press the shooter was a non-student unhappy that a woman he accompanied to the dance had talked with a player.

The most seriously injured player, Sam Ashaolu, remained hospitalized Thursday, three days after doctors removed a bullet fragment from his head. The four other players have returned to campus.

Four people now stand accused in the shooting. Two of them _ Lee and William Holmes _ are the only ones accused of firing at the players.

Holmes, 18, of Penn Hills, was arrested last week and charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assault.

A fourth person, Brittany Jones, 19, also of Penn Hills, has been ordered to stand trial on charges she helped six people get into the dance even though she knew some of them were armed.

It was not immediately clear how Thursday's events would affect Jones, since her charges stemmed from allegedly helping Baynes and Holmes get into the dance. Her attorney, James Ecker, declined to comment.

Baynes' public defender, Sumner Parker, said last week that Baynes was present at the shooting but was not responsible for the attack. Baynes was expected to be released from jail Thursday afternoon.

Parker thanked police and prosecutors for keeping an open mind.

``I lost a trial fee and I couldn't be happier,'' he said.