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Defendants Testify In Downtown Shooting Trial

Hassan Howze (Photo Courtesy: City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police)

Hassan Howze (Photo Courtesy: City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The jury in the Capital Grille shooting case went home for the evening without a verdict and will resume deliberations in the morning.

Both Hassan Howze, who wore a .40 calibre gun he wore on a holster, and a .32 on his ankle, both legally purchased, and his brother Antonio Peterson, the defendants in this case took the stand in their own defense, and according to them they had no intention of getting involved in a fight much less get involved in a gun battle last April 5 downtown.

According to them, they were shocked that Jamel Terry, seen in surveillance video taking off his jacket, was ready to engage in a fight.

It turns out Antonio Peterson went after Terry first, as seen in the video, telling the jury they had fought before.

“I took the first steps,” Peterson testified. “Rage took over. In my last altercation with him I got my face broken. I just got the wires out of my mouth.”

But Peterson never produced documentation of his hospitalization records at trial.

His brother and co-defendant, Hassan Howze, testified he was trying to be a peacemaker and was surprised his brother went after Terry on the street.

“It surprised me,” testified Howze. “I didn’t want it to happen. I tried to diffuse the situation and to break it up.”

Howze testified that twice during the struggle his gun fell out of its holster and he tried to get the gun back. The prosecution claims he fired intentionally but Howze says the gun went off accidentally.

“I picked it up and placed it back in the holster. I didn’t point it at him,” testified Howze.

During the struggle, Terry and Howze were injured by gunfire.

RELATED LINKS:
2 Charged After Shooting, Fight Downtown (4/5/13)
Sheriff’s Deputy Credited With Bringing Tense Downtown Shooting Incident Under Control (4/6/13)
Jury Sees Surveillance Footage In Downtown Shooting Trial (12/4/13)
More Reports from Harold Hayes