Two men held for trial in death of man shot in 2008

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A district judge this morning held two men for trial on homicide charges in the 2008 shooting of a Hill District man who died last year from complications of his injuries.

John Coaston, 21, and Malik Williams, 19, face homicide, robbery and conspiracy charges in connection with the death of 22-year-old Justin Fowler. Mr. Fowler died at his White Hill Drive home on Dec. 28, 2011, three years after a shooting that left him paralyzed from the chest down. The Allegheny County medical examiner's office later ruled that he died from "complications of paralysis due to a remote gunshot wound to the trunk" and labeled the death a homicide.

Detectives wrote in a criminal complaint that a witness watched as Mr. Coaston, then 17, and Mr. Williams, then 15, ran up behind Mr. Fowler while he walked toward some steps in the Bedford Dwellings housing complex on Oct. 1, 2008. Both men fired shots at Mr. Fowler, the witness said.

The men were charged last month with homicide. Mr. Coaston was already in the Allegheny County Jail on unrelated charges. Mr. Williams was apprehended Oct. 29 by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force.

Both men are scheduled to be formally arraigned Dec. 12. mobilehome - neigh_city - breaking

Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee.


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