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Appeals court upholds Schenectady man's gun convictions

Sunday, July 13, 2014
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— An appeals court Thursday rejected arguments from a man acquitted of a 2010 Schenectady double murder but convicted on related weapons counts.

Jalil Miles, now 22, had sought to overturn his two weapons convictions, arguing that the evidence was not sufficient to support them. The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court Thursday upheld the convictions, saying of Miles’ arguments, “we are unpersuaded.”

Miles was tried in 2011 in the March 2010 killings of Alphonzo Pittman and Virgil Terry on Hulett Street.

For the weapons convictions, Miles was sentenced to 15 years in state prison.

The appeals court noted testimony from Miles’ former co-defendant Dashaun Terry that he saw Miles and a third co-defendant, Michael Capers, shooting handguns at the time of the killings. The court also noted other witnesses who either witnessed Miles shooting or heard the shots.

The court also noted testimony about admissions that Miles made to others.

All of that, the court wrote, provided sufficient proof to each of the elements of the weapons convictions.

The court also found enough corroborating evidence to Dashaun Terry’s testimony to allow it to remain admissible.

Initially three people — Miles, Capers and Dashaun Terry — were charged with the murders. None were convicted of the killings. All three, however, remain in prison on weapons convictions.

Capers, now 20, was convicted of the weapons counts, but the jury deadlocked on the murder counts. Prosecutors eventually dropped the murder counts, noting the jury was the second to fail to convict in the case. For the weapons counts, Capers is serving 14 years.

The first jury acquitted Miles outright, but convicted on the weapons counts.

Capers could someday be retried on the murders, if new evidence surfaces and a judge approves. Miles’ acquittal means he cannot be retried.

Dashaun Terry, now 23, was allowed to plead guilty to a weapons count in exchange for testifying. He is serving 11 years.

Pittman was 17 when he was killed. Virgil Terry — Dashaun Terry’s brother — was 21.

The three men were accused of opening fire at Pittman after a relatively minor argument. Pittman and those he was with were unarmed.

Prosecutors said bullets fired by the group accidentally hit Virgil Terry, who was there with his brother, Capers and Miles.

 
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