Shooting suspect back in court
Jamel Booker, charged in the shooting of Ithaca Police Department officer Anthony Augustine, appeared in city court Wednesday as part of a preliminary felony hearing, with officers describing the scene where Augustine was shot.
Judge James M. Kerrigan presided as Assistant District Attorney Andrew McElwee called on four witnesses, including the police officer who was present with Augustine at the time of the shooting.
Roughly 20 city officers lined the back of the courtroom as Booker was led in in handcuffs wearing an orange jail jumpsuit. He was seated next to his assigned attorney, Kristine Shaw. Booker remained silent, mostly
with his head down.
Shaw said Booker had said he was “running for his life” that night and thought he would be killed and “left in the bushes.” She went on to say that he had stated that the gun had fired unexpectedly and that he didn’t mean to shoot the officer.
After Barksdale’s testimony, officer Barry Banfield took the stand. The courtroom grew quiet as he recounted how he and Augustine pursued Booker on foot into the woods when he heard a gun “pop” and thereafter found his fellow officer injured on the ground.
Banfield teared up as he recounted removing his colleague’s bullet-proof vest revealing his bullet wound. Banfield said he then began rendering aid as Booker fled the scene and allegedly threw his gun as he headed south toward Chestnut Street.
Shaw asked Banfield if he ever saw a gun and he replied “no.” The gun has not been recovered, Banfield said.
In closing, Kerrigan said he would not reduce bail as was requested by the defense). Booker was previously arraigned in Tompkins County Court by Judge Judith Rossiter, who set bail at $500,000 cash or $1 million bond.
A grand jury presentation will be held Nov. 15 when the case is transferred to Tompkins County Court.Written by
Shawnee A. BarnesShot IPD officer to be released from hospital
An Ithaca police officer shot by an accused car thief is scheduled to be released at 10 a.m. today from Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.
Officer Anthony Augustine will be escorted home to Ithaca by several police agencies, according to Ithaca police Lt. Vincent Monticello.7:19 AM, Oct 18, 2012