This article was originally published on GoErie.com by Tim Hahn on Friday, November 18, 2016
The investigation into the shooting death of an Erie man in a westside neighborhood in April never turned up the gun that the fatal shot came from, an Erie police detective said.
But a shell casing found inside the residence of a city man played a key role in identifying the accused shooter, according to information presented in court on Friday.
The .40-caliber casing was found in the bedroom of Marquis P. Knight’s residence when investigators searched it following a shooting in the 1100 block of West 26th Street on April 16 that killed 19-year-old Allen Basham. The casing was fired from the same gun as several other .40-caliber casings that were found at the shooting scene, where witnesses reported seeing Knight firing at Basham, Erie police Detective Sgt. Chris Janus testified during Knight’s preliminary hearing on Friday morning.
Knight, 27, was held for trial on criminal homicide, first-degree murder and other charges following the hearing before Erie 6th Ward District Judge Dominick DiPaolo.
Two other men charged with firing gunshots during the April 16 incident, 30-year-old Jamaine J. Gambill Sr. and 24-year-old Ashton Pullium-Jones, were also ordered by DiPaolo to stand trial on the charges filed against them following the hearing. Gambill faces charges including aggravated assault and carrying a firearm without a license, while Pullium-Jones faces charges including carrying a firearm without a license and discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure.
Knight remains in the Erie County Prison without bond. Pullium-Jones remains in prison on $25,000 bond, while Gambill is free on $1,500 bail.
City police officers who responded to gunshots reports in the 1100 block of West 26th Street on the early morning of April 16 found Basham, who died of a gunshot wound to the chest, in a business parking lot on the south side of the block. Officers also encountered a crime scene that covered two square blocks where they recovered 44 shell casings of three different calibers and three live bullets, and where they found evidence of buildings and three to four vehicles struck by gunfire, said Janus, who provided the only testimony at Friday’s hearing.
The .40-caliber shell casings found outside at the shooting scene were located in a spot where Knight reportedly parked a rental car he was driving, Janus said under questioning by Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri. One witness reported seeing Knight with a gun and believed Knight was firing it at Basham, while the other witness reported seeing Knight shooting in the direction of Basham, he testified.
A .40-caliber slug was recovered from Basham’s body, but it was not the bullet that killed Basham. Another .40-caliber projectile was located in a planter that Basham would have walked past, Janus testified.
Janus said under questioning by Knight’s lawyer, Stephen Sebald, that Knight’s rental car had bullet holes in it but police were unable to find the projectiles. He also said yes when asked by Sebald if one of the witnesses indicated that Basham, who also had a gun, shot first.