3 guilty in Windsor shooting

Published 8:11 am Friday, August 28, 2009

WINDSOR—Three of the four defendants accused in a shooting outside the Windsor School of Dance in December pleaded guilty to several charges in Isle of Wight County Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Ozie Porter, a 16-year-old from Suffolk accused of firing the shot that wounded a 17-year-old boy on Dec. 6, pleaded guilty to one felony charge of malicious wounding. Five other felony charges — shooting in the commission of a felony, discharge of a firearm, attempted capital murder, and two charges of use of a firearm — were dropped.

Isle of Wight County Commonwealth’s Attorney Wayne Farmer said Thursday that Judge Westbrook Parker ordered Porter to be held by the state Department of Juvenile Justice until he turns 21, and he will be on probation for 10 years after that.

Dijon Elliott, a 22-year-old from Suffolk, pleaded guilty to one felony charge of conspiracy to commit malicious wounding. Farmer said Parker sentenced him to a 5-year prison term, then suspended three years of that sentence, so he will spend two years in prison.

Another Suffolk teenager, Akia Scott, 17, also pleaded guilty to one felony charge of conspiracy to commit malicious wounding and was also ordered held by the DJJ. Farmer said the amount of time Scott would be held by DJJ was undetermined; he could be released early for good behavior, but could also be held up until he turns 21.

Dijon Elliott and Scott were both originally charged with two felonies, malicious wounding and use of a firearm.

A fourth defendant, 18-year-old Lamar Elliott of Suffolk, faces two felony charges, malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, first offense. Lamar Elliott’s trial in Isle of Wight County Circuit Court is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 15.

Farmer said the shooting happened after members of two rival Suffolk gangs met at the Windsor School of Dance during a birthday celebration. An altercation occurred and spilled over into the parking lot.

“There were gunshots coming from multiple directions,” Farmer said, adding that the victim saw Porter shoot him in the upper thigh area. The prosecutor added that the victim has recovered from his injuries, “but it could have been a lot worse, obviously.”

Farmer said that although there were about 150 people at the scene at the time of the shooting, it was a frustrating case to prosecute.

“When folks that you know are witnesses to something are unwilling to come forward or to assist, that makes prosecuting more difficult,” Farmer said. “It’s difficult when you don’t have citizen cooperation. That’s what happened here. (The victim) knew what had happened, but we know there were other people who were there and saw what happened. We had a couple of witnesses who refused to testify.”

He added, “To some extent you can understand that, when the reason this case came about is because it apparently was retribution for (the victim) testifying (in an unrelated case) in Suffolk.”