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Lawyer: Suspect in Syracuse handyman murder was himself wounded by real gunman

2013-05-31-kr-FageSt.1.JPGSyracuse, NY — The lawyer for a Syracuse man accused of shooting a handyman to death during an attempted robbery this summer says his client was actually a victim.

Defense lawyer Don Kelly today asked a County Court judge to release the police records of five witnesses who the lawyer says may know who really committed the murder of Arthur D. Bullock on his porch May 31.

His client, Lynnquan Kellam, 27, of 622 West Brighton Ave., was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon in Bullock’s death at 142 Fage Ave. Police say Bullock walked out on his porch around 1:50 a.m. and found his friends being robbed. The robber confronted Bullock and the victim was shot in the head.

Authorities say Kellam was that robber. They say other witnesses cooperated with police, leading to charges. Kellam and Bullock were strangers, police said.

But Kelly argued that his client was also shot during the same attempted robbery. He said Kellam was grazed by a bullet to his shoulder. And the lawyer argued that other witnesses may know what really happened.

He noted that police had a different “person of interest” before a witness came forward weeks after the crime accusing Kellam of the murder.

That’s why Kelly asked County Court Judge Joseph Fahey to subpoena the criminal histories of the other witnesses. He claimed he wants to see if they had relationships together in the past that could help him piece together the case.

But a prosecutor and a city attorney protested. They suggested that Kelly was simply trying to impeach the credibility of witnesses by questioning them about prior crimes.

The records were also not kept in the police records division and the department would have to use “extraordinary” methods to obtain them, said Syracuse Assistant Corporation Counsel Joseph Doyle. He added that the records should be withheld because they were part of an ongoing investigation.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Melinda McGunnigle also argued that Kelly cannot force prosecutors to give up the records just to question witnesses’ credibility.

Fahey compromised. He agreed to issue the subpoena for the records, but said he would review them to determine their relevancy to the case before releasing them to Kelly.

He also scheduled a hearing Feb. 28 to determine if statements Kellam made can be used at trial.

The murder of Bullock, a popular handyman among his neighbors led to grief and fear after his death.


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