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Testimony of witness is challenged in Clearwater shooting trial

Gaylord Shaw speaks with his attorneys, Cynthia Lakeman and M. Jennifer Arena, on Wednesday. Shaw is accused of killing Michael Scott and wounding Antonio Scott. In August, Allan Burney, 21, was sentenced to life in prison in the same case.

Demorris A. Lee | Times

Gaylord Shaw speaks with his attorneys, Cynthia Lakeman and M. Jennifer Arena, on Wednesday. Shaw is accused of killing Michael Scott and wounding Antonio Scott. In August, Allan Burney, 21, was sentenced to life in prison in the same case.

LARGO — Antonio Scott was "100 percent" and "absolutely sure" of one thing Wednesday afternoon when he took the witness stand in courtroom No. 9.

"It was Gaylord Shaw who came up to the car and started shooting," Scott testified. "He was the only person I seen. … He was trying to shoot me. One bullet nicked me on my head."

But Scott's certainty was under scrutiny Wednesday in the second day of the second-degree murder trial. Gaylord Shaw is charged with killing Antonio Scott's brother Michael Scott, 23, in the same shooting.

A group of Shaw's family members contend that, while standing outside the courtroom, they heard Antonio Scott, 26, say something different before being quieted by his sister.

"He said that he didn't remember who shot him," Erica Shaw, 26, told Judge Joseph A. Bulone. "That's when a lady in a blue shirt told him to 'shish.' "

Shaw's attorneys argued that Scott possibly perjured himself and fought to get the statements before the jury of five women and two men.

Shaw's attorney, Cynthia Lakeman, said it was something the jury must hear because "this man is facing the rest of his life in prison."

State prosecutor David Tobiassen argued that Scott has identified Shaw from the beginning of the investigation as the shooter.

But the judge sided with Shaw's attorneys.

Today, all those involved in the hallway exchange will be brought to the witness stand so the jury can decide whether Antonio Scott indeed remembers seeing Shaw shoot him and kill his brother.

Shaw, 21, is the second person to face murder charges in the death of Michael Scott and the shooting of Antonio Scott, who was seriously injured. In August, Allan Burney, 21, was convicted of second-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder in the second degree and shooting at, within, or into a vehicle. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors contend that on Oct. 8, 2007, Shaw shot into a car being driven by Michael Scott after an altercation between two groups of men turned violent in Clearwater's North Greenwood community. Antonio Scott was in the back seat. After the car was hit by gunfire, it slammed into a pole.

If convicted, Shaw too faces life in prison. The state rested its case Wednesday afternoon after calling a series of law enforcement officials and a gunshot residue expert.

The defense then called its only witness of the day, Antonio Scott, who limped to the witness stand. He is still suffering from the injuries he received in the 2007 shooting and car crash. He said he has some memory loss and is still on medication.

"My last memory was him (Shaw) shooting at the car," Scott said from the witness stand. "After we hit that pole, I was out."

Testimony is expected to resume at 9:45 a.m. today.

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at dalee@sptimes.com or (727) 455-4174

Testimony of witness is challenged in Clearwater shooting trial 04/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 11:24pm]
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