Second man charged with homicide after paralyzed shooting victim dies

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An East End man was arraigned this week on homicide charges after investigators said a man he shot in 2008 died from complications of paralysis caused by his gunshot wound.

Malik Williams, 19, was arrested in the 2300 block of East Hills Drive on Monday by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Pittsburgh police Major Crimes Lt. Daniel Herrmann said. Another man, John Coaston, 21, has also been charged with homicide in the case.

Detectives wrote in a criminal complaint that a witness watched as Mr. Coaston and another man -- now identified as Mr. Williams -- ran up behind Justin 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.

Mr. Fowler, 22, died at his White Hill Drive home on Dec. 28, 2011. 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.

Both Mr. Williams and Mr. Coaston are being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bail. Online court records show that Mr. Williams is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday and Mr. Coaston has a preliminary hearing next week.

breaking - neigh_east

Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.


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