Washington teen gets prison for July shooting

February 11, 2013

A Washington teen will spend at least three years behind bars for his role in a shooting outside of a local convenience store in July.

Leonardo R. Porter, 18, of 862 Beech St., Apt. 210, Washington, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated assault and two counts of recklessly endangering another person before Washington County Judge John DiSalle and was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in prison. The plea allowed Porter to avoid an attempted homicide charge that he would have faced at trial.

Porter and a co-defendant, 20-year-old Hakeem Jamil Warren, who faces similar charges, are accused of firing shots into a car occupied by three people about 11:30 p.m. July 18 at the Mega Express convenience store at 326 Ridge Ave., Washington, court records show. The men had approached the vehicle and engaged in a conversation with the occupants before opening fire with handguns as they drove away, police said.

According to prosecutors, one of the bullets fired by Warren struck Austin Cole, 20, of 8 Atlantic Drive, Washington, in the upper left arm. The driver, Easton Lemon of Houston, and the other passenger, Heather Alderson, no address available, were not injured.

At the hearing, Porter apologized for his actions and acknowledged that he had “messed up.” He explained that the confrontation with the vehicle’s occupants arose over a family member’s window being broken.

DiSalle said it was a shame that Porter wasn’t thinking about his young child that evening and chastised the teen for reacting violently over a window.

Warren remains in the Washington County jail on $200,000 bond and is scheduled to appear before DiSalle at 9 a.m. Feb. 25.

Andy McNeil has been with the Observer-Reporter since 2011 as a general assignment reporter. He covers courts and education, and also serves as a photographer and videographer. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University, The Behrend College, with a degree in English; Duquense University with a post-baccalaureate paralegal certificate, and Point Park University with a graduate degree in journalism and mass communication.

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