The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 14, 2013

City man convicted of shooting ex-girlfriend

Kathy Mellott

EBENSBURG — A Cambria County judge took a half-hour Tuesday to find a Johnstown man guilty of four of the five charges he faced in relation to the shooting of his girlfriend in the fall.

Jamere Quince Christian, 23, was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault and single counts of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person by Judge Norman Krumenacker.

Christian was acquitted of an additional count of simple assault.

He had been charged Nov. 2 with shooting his then-girlfriend in the left leg. The confrontation occurred along the 700 block of Cypress Avenue after the two had been out drinking and returned home, prosecutors said.

The woman testified that she was intoxicated and had difficulty remembering some events of the night. She said she was shot in the left leg while trying to open the trunk of her car so Christian could remove his belongings.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Maribeth Schaffer, the woman said she did not see a .25-caliber handgun in Christian’s hand when she was shot.

In questioning by Assistant District Attorney Forest Fordham, the woman said she was unaware of anyone else in the immediate area at the time of the shooting.

The woman broke down a number of times on the witness stand, and at one point asked the judge if she had to testify.

“I was drunk. I didn’t actually see him do it,“ she said. “I was on one side of the car and he was on the other.”

A number of Johnstown Police Department officers testified about what they found after arriving at the scene and a statement the woman gave while she was being treated at Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.

In her statement, the woman identified the shooter as Christian, as she had in the 911 calls she made shortly after being shot.

Krumenacker said those identifications went a long way in reaching his decision.

The judge said he found Christian not guilty of one simple assault charge because there was no evidence that the woman feared for her life.

Prior to the start of testimony, Christian appeared to be considering a plea bargain offered earlier by the prosecution. But he eventually declined the offer and asked for a continuance and a new attorney. Krumenacker denied the requests.

Krumenacker ordered a presentence investigation and said sentencing would be held in about 90 days.

Christian, who did not take the witness stand, was returned to the Cambria County Prison, where he has been since his arrest.

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