PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police say a Snapchat message led to a fist fight back in July, but by the time the fight was over, one person was dead and another person was headed to trial.
The family of Jassim Al-Maleky came to court Friday to look Israel Moon in the eye.
Moon is charged with firing the fatal shot that killed Al-Maleky when a group gathered at a Kennedy Township home in July to watch two others duke it out. Emotions spilled over as parents of both the suspect and the defendant exchanged hurtful words. But it was up to the judge to determine what really happened on July 28.
“Israel Moon maintains his innocence,” defense attorney Blaine Jones said.
Witnesses told the court it was supposed to be a fist fight, but each side brought along friends for back-up in case things got out of hand. Moon and Al-Maleky were there for support. Once the fight broke out, blows were thrown, and in a matter of minutes, witnesses heard two gunshots.
Jones argued Moon was never identified as the shooter.
“There were four government witnesses and not one single government witness said they saw Israel Moon with a firearm,” Jones said.
Moon’s family members in the courtroom were disappointed the matter was held for court.
“Nobody admitted to seeing him with the gun. The judge still held it over for court and that seems kinda unfair to me,” Chaz Goggins, Moon’s uncle, said.
Al-Maleky’s mother at times cried openly in court as autopsy results were reviewed and witnesses described the scene after the shooting. Presented with arguments for and against dismissing the charges, Moon was held on both the homicide and gun possession charges.
Attorney Jones heard a lot of testimony he believes he can use at trial.
“They said they saw three black males, two black males in addition to Israel Moon, go into the driveway. And then they heard loud gunshots. So I think it’s difficult to make this leap of faith because we’re at this level to say that Israel Moon did this,” Jones said.