South Side Slopes man to face homicide trial in shooting
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Ronald Williams must stand trial on homicide charges in the April killing of Kevin Buchanan Jr., a judge ordered today.
Mr. Williams, 19, of the South Side Slopes was showing his friend a .40-caliber rifle when it suddenly went off and killed him, investigators said at a preliminary hearing this morning.
His defense attorney, Kirsha Weyandt, said there was no evidence that Mr. Williams intended to kill Mr. Buchanan, 19, of Arlington, and asked that the charges be reduced to involuntary manslaughter. District Judge Robert Dzvonick ordered Mr. Williams to stand trial for the homicide.
An autopsy performed April 3 confirmed that Mr. Buchanan died as a result of a penetrating gun shot to his chest, Assistant District Attorney Michael Berquist said. The shot was fired April 2 in Mr. Williams bedroom at 1513 Conway St., where the two had gone earlier that afternoon.
Pittsburgh police homicide Detective Vonzale Boose said that shortly after Mr. Williams first showed Mr. Buchanan the gun in his room, Mr. Buchanan left for a moment to go to another room.
When he returned, Mr. Williams had the gun pointed at him, right hand on the trigger, Detective Boose said.
Mr. Williams's mother heard the shot and rushed to her son's room, where she attempted to perform first aid, Detective Boose said. Mr. Williams, who described Mr. Buchanan as a cousin, stored the gun in his basement and spent that night at his girlfriend's house.
When police first questioned him the next day, Mr. Williams said he had been out buying marijuana at the time of the shooting, Detective Boose said. But when he was questioned a second time, he shared details, Mr. Boose said.
"He was scared about what had happened," Mr. Boose said. "That's why he was originally deceptive."
Mr. Boose added that there was no evidence of ill will in the shooting and that the firearm found at the house matched the one Mr. Williams described.
First Published June 22, 2012 1:03 pm