Friday, August 03, 2007

New Jersey man acquitted in dubious prosecution: "A 31-year-old Bridgeton man was acquitted Thursday on charges of first-degree attempted murder in connection with a 2005 shooting incident in Gouldtown. Leroy Bell, of Hampton Street, was also acquitted on various weapons charges, with the exception of fourth-degree possession of a firearm without a permit, for which he was convicted. Bell was found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault as well. However, jurors found he acted in defense in connection with those charges, negating those convictions. In a 2005 statement to detectives, Bell admitted shooting at the alleged victim in the case, 20-year-old Douglas Lawson, of North Pearl Street, Bridgeton, but only after Lawson shot at him during an incident on Longview Avenue in Fairfield Township on Aug. 30, 2005. Neither Bell nor Lawson were injured in either of the two incidents. Detectives who testified during a one-day trial Wednesday said that they found no evidence corroberating Bell's assertion that he was acting in self-defense. Lawson declined to testify against Bell."

Pennsylvania store owner shoots robber: "Four months ago, after a series of break-ins at his convenience store, Merlony "Jason" Colaco nabbed a robbery suspect and used his shotgun to hold her at bay until police arrived. Thursday morning, he confronted another suspect, only this time, he fired. "I shot that guy, not because he was stealing, but because he came to me and was attacking me," Colaco said. "This was the first time I ever fired a gun. I never even hunted before." Police said Colaco, owner of Molly Pitcher Mini-Mart of 13640 Molly Pitcher Highway, shot Thomas Philip Candeloro Jr., 44, of Baltimore, after he and two other white men broke into the store at 1:46 a.m. to steal cartons of cigarettes. When Colaco confronted the men with his shotgun, a fight broke out that resulted in Candeloro being shot, police said. Candeloro's alleged accomplices reportedly fled, but he was taken to Washington County Hospital, where he was treated and released, according to a hospital spokesperson. Police said charges of robbery, burglary, theft and conspiracy are pending against him. Calaco's store is just off of Interstate 81. For several months it has been the site of several break-ins and robberies.

Black on black. Texas Man Fights Back, Shoots Would-Be Robber: "Police say an elderly North Texan battled robbers, shooting one of them during an attack in Pleasant Grove. 72-year-old Robert Cushingberry says he was just defending himself when two men approached him and a companion wanting money. Cushingberry says he's been robbed before. Because of that, he says, he now takes precautions. Cushingberry says when the men approached and started threatening him, he pulled out a gun from under his seat and opened fire. So did the two men. "I was standing at the at the back of my truck where my pistol was," he said, "when he saw me reach in there to get it. That's when he shot the first two times. After that, it was just one on one." Blood stains cover the parking lot where it happened at Overton and Bonnie View. Bullet holes are scattered throughout Cushingberry's truck. One of the robbers was shot in the stomach and taken to Baylor Hospital. The second suspect has been arrested. Cushingberry has not been charged."

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