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Bail denied for alleged Oakmont Avenue shooter

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

An East Side man will stay in the Holding Center on a string of felony charges which could send him to prison for 100 years. He is accused of the August 12 shootings near the Oakmont Avenue footbridge that left one teenager dead. 

28-year-old Joseph Gant  pleaded not guilty yesterday to nine felony charges in the fatal shooting of 14-year old Raymond Patterson III and the wounding of three others in a dispute which began with him refereeing a fight between two girls before the situation escalated.

Erie County Judge Michael D'Amico refused to set lower bail so that he might be released prior to a trial next March.

"What is particularly shocking to a community is when somebody especially innocent and especially young is killed," said Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita.

"So many people, for example, will just look at it and make them think about their own child or their own children," said Sedita, noting how the incident prompted him to think of his own 17-year-old son.

During the arraignment, defense lawyer Samuel Davis argued that Gant should be offered bail since he is a working man with a minimal criminal record.

Sedita indicated that prosecutors have ample evidence connected with the case. Though he would not provide specifics, he did say there is a motive. 
 

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.