PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The last time the case of the 92-year-old jitney driver innocently caught in a shooting was scheduled for court, the victim couldn’t come. He was still recuperating.
He made it to Wednesday’s hearing, though, and knows one great truth.
“I’m blessed,” says 92-year-old Cornelius Swinton.
Swinton arrived at the hearing under his own power, and walked at a steady pace with only one outward sign that he survived a shooting: the medical hardware on his hand.
“I’m feeling pretty good. They had to get the bone connected in this hand,” he said.
Last month, Swinton was driving as a jitney in Homewood when gunfire blazed from out of nowhere.
The alleged gunman, Jason Haddock’s, defense attorney says his client was trying to retaliate against those who fired gunshots at family members’ homes.
Haddock’s bail was originally set at $250,000, but his lawyer convinced the judge to reduce it to $75,000 based in part on his letter to the victim asking for forgiveness.
“He explained in his letter to Mr. Swinton that he knows he’s going to be punished, but he cares more about Mr. Swinton’s forgiveness,” said defense attorney Milton Raiford.
“My client, number one, admitted his culpability; my client, two, showed contrition; wrote a letter to the alleged victim, the jitney driver in this case, who could have been anybody’s father and indicated that his actions were not that of a man. He’s sorry about that,” says Raiford. “It was the grace of God that caused this man, Mr. Swinton, to recover and he was able to be in court for today.”
Haddock waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Haddock will face trial on charges including aggravated assault, firearms violations and recklessly endangering another person.