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Teen will be tried as adult in Redstone apartments shooting of boy, 7

| Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 11:18 a.m.

A Fayette County teenager will be tried as an adult in a shooting that left a boy in a wheelchair.

Deago Lee Eddings, 17, of Uniontown is charged as an adult with attempted homicide in the July 3, 2012, shooting of Ammar-e Williams at Hunter's Ridge apartments in Redstone. Williams was just 7 at the time.

Following a brief hearing Wednesday, Judge Nancy Vernon denied a defense request to transfer the case to juvenile court. Eddings faces additional counts of aggravated assault and using a firearm without a license.

He was 16 at the time of the shooting.

Williams appeared in court in a wheelchair with two family members, but the boy was not called to testify.

Through Assistant District Attorney Anthony Iannamorelli, Williams' mother and another family member declined to comment after the hearing. Several of Eddings' family members left the courtroom in tears after Vernon denied the transfer request.

During a preliminary hearing in December, Ammar-e identified Eddings as the person who shot him outside the apartments.

The boy testified that he knew Eddings from the neighborhood, but they were not friends. He denied fighting or arguing with him.

State police said several juveniles were playing and wrestling when Eddings shot Williams.

At Wednesday's hearing, psychiatrist Dr. Bruce Wright testified that Eddings is not an appropriate candidate for the juvenile court system. Wright said Eddings has a “very significant history of behavioral problems,” including an allegation he once threatened to kill another student at school.

Wright said Eddings has been in various types of counseling and treatment programs, including placement in at least one residential treatment facility, but has failed to change.

With Eddings set to turn 18 in November, Wright said it is unlikely he can be rehabilitated in the juvenile justice system before he turns 21.

Eddings is in the Fayette County Prison on $200,000 bail.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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