The Brooklyn teenage accused of shooting a tourist in Times Square last month, lost his bid to be tried as a juvenile, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Avon Darden, 16 — who initially took off after the June 27 wounding of US Marine Samuel Poulin — turned himself in last Wednesday. He is being held on $200,000 bail on charges of attempted murder and gun possession.
Darden’s case is being handled by Manhattan’s youth court, where he still faces trial as an adult. Wednesday’s hearing was to determine whether Darden’s case should be transferred to family court where he would be tried as a juvenile.
Prosecutors only needed to show evidentiary proof that Darden displayed a firearm in order to keep the case in Supreme Court.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Thiman played clips of surveillance video taken from multiple angles of the shooting. The video allegedly showed Darden chasing and shooting at another man, who he’d been arguing with, when a stray bullet hit the 21-year-old tourist in the back.
“You can actually see the victim react to being struck by the bullet and jumping up and placing his arms by his waist,” Thiman said.
Thiman also noted that during an interrogation, Darden confirmed he was the person in still frames taken from the surveillance videos. And Darden admitted that he had a gun — which he claimed he only shot into the air — Thiman said.
Meanwhile, Darden’s criminal defense lawyer Sarah Legler argued that there was insufficient evidence to prove her client was the shooter.
“I would just submit that the statement summarized by the people and attributed to my client alone is not sufficient to establish by preponderance my client’s identity as the shooter and that the images do not clearly depict the face of the shooter in relation to the incident,” Legler argued.
But acting Supreme Court Justice Stephen Antignani sided with prosecutors and determined that Darden would continue to be tried as an adult.
“The people have met their burden and the case is retained in Supreme Court,” Antignani said.
As the hearing wrapped up a handcuffed Darden twisted bringing his hands around to blow a kiss to mom Asia Darden after she called out “Love you.”
Darden appeared upset as he vigorously shook his head as he walked out of the courtroom.
After the hearing, Legler and Darden’s mother declined to comment.