- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A teenager has been ordered to stand trial in a shooting that wounded three students outside a western Pennsylvania high school last fall.

An Allegheny County judge held the 16-year-old Wednesday on three counts each of attempted homicide and aggravated assault, but dropped one other count of each charge and lowered bail from $500,000 to $100,000.

Prosecutors said three students heading home after classes ended at Brashear High School in Pittsburgh were hit by gunfire Nov. 13, but the wounds weren’t life-threatening. Authorities said the suspect told them he was retaliating for having been beaten during a drug-related robbery the previous month at school.

A defense attorney said Wednesday that a key witness plans to recant his statement to investigators, leaving prosecutors with little more than hearsay evidence.

Prosecutors said they hoped to locate the witness but argued that even without the testimony there was enough evidence to hold the defendant, since two witnesses pointed investigators to a spot where they later recovered a weapon wrapped in a towel inside a black backpack.

“That’s not hearsay. That’s fact,” Assistant District Attorney Brian Catanzarite said.

Four young people testified about the shooting but gave little more than “yes” or “no” replies to the prosecutor’s questions and confirmed their injuries. None of them identified the gunman.

“All of them testified, and not one single person said who shot them,” defense attorney Blaine Jones argued in seeking dismissal of the charges.

Brashear, which has about 1,400 students in grades nine through 12 about two miles south of downtown, was locked down briefly, but students were released to their parents about 90 minutes after the shooting.

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