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Attorney in Riverview graduation party killing says ballistics don't match

RIVERVIEW — A ballistics report shows a fatal bullet did not come from the gun linked to Khayri Rashaad McCray, who is accused in a deadly graduation party shooting last May, McCray's attorney said Tuesday.

The weapon that McCray, 18, is accused of firing matched the caliber of the bullets that killed Devonte Lamar Dallas, 18, and injured two others, defense attorney Alex Stavrou said.

But Stavrou said a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found the bullets were not fired from that gun.

McCray was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder. He was released last month from a Hillsborough County jail on $200,000 bail.

With the new evidence, "some sort of motion to dismiss or pleading to resolve the case is on the horizon," Stavrou told the St. Petersburg Times. "It certainly calls into question the testimony that has been provided to law enforcement."

The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office would not comment on the pending investigation, spokesman Mark Cox said.

In the early hours of May 23, a graduation party at the Winthrop Barn and Theatre in Riverview had swelled from 70 invited guests to more than 300 people. Among the party crashers: McCray, who was socked in the nose when a fight broke out around 1 a.m.

Parents and chaperones removed the Spoto High School senior and other brawlers from the party. But investigators said McCray, a football player for the Spoto Spartans, returned with a gun and fired into a crowd outside the rental hall.

Dallas, a Durant High senior, was shot in the chest and died at the scene. Bullets also struck and injured Jeffrey Thomas, a parent involved in throwing the party, and De Ron Richardson.

McCray jumped into an acquaintance's car through a back window, investigators said, and the car drove to the parking lot of Progress Village Middle Magnet School.

The three occupants of the Chevrolet Malibu later told investigators that McCray boasted about shooting someone.

Investigators found a gun on school grounds. McCray turned himself in the day of the killing.

In the following weeks, rumors of retribution spurred extra security at Durant and Spoto high schools.

Although witnesses identified McCray as the shooter, his attorney said McCray has maintained his innocence.

The shooter was said to be shirtless, Stavrou said, but witnesses did not mention the numerous tattoos on McCray's arms and chest. The shooter was also said to be holding the gun in his left hand, but McCray is right-handed.

McCray's next court date is a hearing Feb. 24. His charges carry a minimum mandatory term of 25 years in prison, with the possibility of a life sentence.

Stephanie Wang can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2443.

Attorney in Riverview graduation party killing says ballistics don't match 02/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:23pm]
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