Boys & Girls Club shooting convict wants his verdict changed

Berkeley Brean
Created: September 11, 2019 07:41 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The only man in prison for one of the most heinous murders in our city is appealing to get his verdict changed. Johnny Blackshell is serving life in prison without parole for the mass murder outside of the Boys and Girls Club on Genesee Street four years ago. 

Blackshell was convicted of first degree intentional murder.


At the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division on East Avenue in Rochester on Friday, Blackshell's lawyer Bill Pixley argued Blackshell fired his gun indiscriminately into a crowd, and so he should be guilty of second degree murder with "depraved indifference.” 

That could make him eligible for parole. 

Bill Pixley, appeal attorney for Johnny Blackshell: "What the evidence does not show is that there was a prime target other than the crowd when the shots were fired."

Justice Nancy Smith: "Why do you think the evidence shows that this wasn't transferred intent? I mean, he was going after certain people."

Pixley: "Well, that's your honor, I don't believe there was any evidence that he was going after certain people."

The appeals attorney for the Monroe County District Attorney’s office, Dan Gross, told the panel of judges "in this case there's no challenge to the intent, that this was an intentional act. I think the evidence bears that out."

Three young men were murdered outside of the Boys and Girls Club: Jonah Barley, Raekwon Manigault, and Johnny Johnson.

Four others were hit by bullets.  

We expect the appellate court's ruling the first week of November. 

Jalen Everett was charged in the Boys and Girls Club shooting and was found guilty, but was later acquitted because of jury misconduct. Rochester Police say Everett was gunned down last May in the area of Dewey and Magee Avenues. Everett was found in the passenger side of a vehicle with at least one gunshot wound to his upper body. He was taken to the hospital where he later died. 

Michael Mathis Jr. was also acquitted on all charges in connection with the Boys and Girls Club murders. In February, Mathis was stabbed in a bar fight in Henrietta. He survived.

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