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Man convicted of shooting 3 outside Schenectady bar in 2011

October 9, 2013
Updated 11:28 p.m.
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— A Brooklyn man was convicted of shooting three people outside a Mont Pleasant bar in 2011, killing one of them.

The Schenectady County Court jury considering the case took just more than a day to convict Rodney Davis of one count of second-degree murder and multiple other charges in the Nov. 12, 2011, shooting outside Joe’s Bar, 1306 Fifth Ave.

Davis, 23, showed no reaction as the verdict was read. Family members of the man he killed, Rashad Robinson, quietly wept as each guilty verdict was read.

Outside the courtroom, Robinson’s mother, Gellie Young, remained emotional over the verdict.

“Justice,” Young said. “Justice, that’s all I wanted, justice for my son.”

Davis now faces a potential maximum sentence of 75 years to life in state prison — 25 years to life for killing Robinson and potential consecutive sentences for the attempted killing of the two other victims.

Prosecutor Amy Monahan said Wednesday evening that she intends to argue for the maximum sentence, 75 years to life.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 12. Presiding over the trial was acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino.

Monahan told jurors the shooting had roots in a minor argument that began inside the bar. It was also the result of a brewing feud between Davis’ group of friends from Brooklyn and Robinson’s group from Schenectady. She also identified Davis as a member of the Bloods street gang.

Robinson was unarmed, she said.

Defense attorney Mark Gaylord countered that testimony didn’t point to his client but to another suspect. He also questioned whether the description of the shooter fit his client.

Gaylord could not be reached for comment after the verdict was announced. Monahan said her brief conversation with jurors afterward indicted that jurors focused on eyewitness testimony as well as recorded phone calls Davis made from jail and the fact that he fled Schenectady hours after the shooting, never to return on his own.

In those phone calls, Monahan argued Davis made comments an innocent man wouldn’t have made.

The eyewitnesses were also powerful, she said.

One of them knew Davis from when they were younger, making the witness’s identification of him as the shooter that much stronger.

“We think it was in keeping with the truth and the evidence in the case,” Monahan said of the verdict.

She commended the witnesses for having the courage to come forward.

Robinson’s mother thanked everyone involved in bringing the case to a conclusion, including prosecutors and police.

“All the detectives,” Young said, “they said what they were going to do and they did it, and I appreciate that. I really do appreciate that.”

One of the Schenectady police detectives, Edward Ritz, was there for the verdict. He met with Robinson’s family in the hallway.

Also there was Robinson’s young daughter, Omaryanna, now a toddler, who was scampering around as the family reacted to the verdict. At one point, the girl made a break toward a hallway, and Ritz scooped her into his arms.

Young said Robinson always made people laugh and helped anyone. He was always there for friends.

She will have the opportunity to speak at Davis’ sentencing and said she intends to tell the truth about her son.

“The truth about him,” she said as the turned her attention to Omaryanna, “and how we have to be here for this little baby that never met her father.”

As for everything everyone did to bring her son’s killer to justice, Young said that has restored her faith in the system.

“I just truly, truly believe in Schenectady again,” Young said. “It’s hard to believe in people, but I believe in Schenectady again.”

 
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