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Trial starts in Allegheny court reporter's slaying

| Monday, Oct. 20, 2008, 12:00 p.m.

The lawyer for a North Side man accused of shooting a popular Allegheny County court reporter admitted his client fired the shots but said he did so while defending himself from a group of men that were shooting at him.

Defense attorney Noah Geary told the jury in opening statements this morning that his client, Jayquon Massey, 19, was not aiming for Cheryl Wilds when he fired Nov. 21 at a group of men in a red sport utility vehicle in the North Side. Geary said Massey was being stalked by the men and was handed a gun by Wilds' son, Robert Wilds, who lived near the shooting. Robert Wilds and Massey are cousins.

The courtroom was packed with several members of the courthouse staff, including court reporters who were friends with Wilds. Visiting Common Pleas Judge John K. Reilly of Clearfield County is presiding over the case and a freelance court reporter is handling the stenography.

Wilds, 47, was shot in the neck while she carried her Thanksgiving groceries home. She died Feb. 27 from her injuries.

Wilds was Massey's great aunt.

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