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Charges refiled in bar shooting bar shooting

| Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007

Criminal charges have been refiled against a former California University of Pennsylvania student accused in the shooting of a fellow student at a Washington County bar.

Vikram Yamba, 22, of Turtle Creek in Allegheny County, is charged by California Borough police with attempted criminal homicide, two counts each of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment of another person and single counts of simple assault, firearms not to be carried without a license and carrying a loaded weapon.

Those same charges were dismissed earlier this month when prosecutors failed to produce witnesses for a preliminary hearing.

Police refiled the charges last week, along with additional charges of former convict not to own firearms and possession of a prohibited offensive weapon.

Yamba is accused of shooting Marc Morris, 22, of Elizabeth in Allegheny County, on May 5 at McMonagle's Irish Pub on Union Street.

Police said the two were arguing inside the crowded bar when Yamba pulled a gun out of his pocket and fired.

At least 100 people were inside the bar at the time. Police allege Yamba fled after pointing the gun at a bouncer.

Morris, a junior, was treated and released for a leg wound.

Yamba is in prison for a federal probation violation.

At the time of the shooting, Yamba was on probation after a 2004 federal conviction for passing counterfeit currency.

In addition, he was free on bond while appealing a 2006 federal conviction for wire fraud.

After the shooting, a federal judge revoked Yamba's bond in the 2006 conviction and ordered him to prison to begin serving an 18-month sentence previously imposed in that case.

The same judge, Gustave Diamond, found Yamba violated terms of his probation in the 2004 case and ordered him to serve out his remaining 24 months of supervised release in prison.

The two sentences are to be served consecutively.

In an opinion issued this week, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Yamba's 2006 conviction on the wire-fraud charges.

In the shooting case, Yamba faces a preliminary hearing today before West Brownsville District Judge William Pelkey.

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