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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Jury Finds Guilty of Manslaughter, Not Murder, in Schenectady VibeZ Shooting Case


SCHENECTADY — Late Tuesday, a​ Schenectady County Court jury delivered a guilty verdict against Markeith Buchanan for⁢ manslaughter in connection with a fatal shooting incident that occurred on State Street, Schenectady in 2022.

At the age ⁤of 25, Buchanan was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, while being cleared of‍ the​ more severe charge of second-degree murder. He was also found guilty on two‍ counts of felony weapons possession.

According to the authorities, Buchanan, accompanied by his cousin and ‍two ​female friends, attempted to enter VibeZ Bar & Lounge. After being denied entry, he got into ‌a dispute with the ‍victim, John‌ Bass.

Video evidence from mobile phones and city surveillance captured Bass, 24, assaulting Buchanan and labeling him a “snitch.” After managing ​to get up, ‌Buchanan returned ​to his car, retrieved a ‌firearm, and walked partway back towards the bar. The two men exchanged words across the parking lot and ⁢as Bass ⁣started⁣ to turn away,⁣ Buchanan fired a​ single shot.

“The jury’s verdict is just and reasonable,” stated ⁤Schenectady County District​ Attorney Robert M. Carney. “They determined that Mr. Buchanan ​had no legal justification to retrieve his illegal firearm‍ from his car after being physically assaulted by⁤ Mr. Bass and use it to end his⁢ life.‍ However, they⁢ also concluded that firing a single shot at ⁢Mr. Bass ⁣demonstrated an intent to inflict serious physical harm⁣ rather than an intent to kill, even ⁢though the single shot proved fatal.

“Once​ again, we ⁤are⁣ reminded of the senseless destruction caused by ⁢gun ⁣violence, claiming one life and irrevocably altering another, involving two individuals who were once friends.”

After ​approximately ⁣three hours of deliberation, the jury ⁣reached its verdict. Throughout the trial, Buchanan’s attorney, Kurt Haas, maintained that Buchanan had not intended to kill Bass. Buchanan himself testified that his actions were justified.

Attempts to reach Haas ⁤for⁤ a comment on the verdict were unsuccessful.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nicolaus McDonald.

Buchanan is set to be sentenced on April‍ 30. He ⁣could face up to 25 years in state prison for the manslaughter conviction.

Kiara Thomas
Kiara Thomas
I uncover quirky and compelling stories. Always on the lookout for the 'why' behind the 'what'.
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