“All the evidence that was collected against the defendant, really there was just overwhelming proof of his guilt,” Assistant District Attorney Patrick Gallagher told reporters after the verdict. “The Gates Pub had great surveillance video in there and you could really see the defendant walking right to the bar, shooting and specifically shooting Ricky Jones.”
Prosecutors used both surveillance and cellphone videos to display the chaos that erupted on April 25, 2015. The videos, they said, clearly showed Alligood shooting Jones in the crowd, then standing over Jones’ prone body and shooting him again.
Jones was struck by six shots.
Alligood, who was on parole when he committed the killing, was also convicted of two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Alligood’s attorney, Paul Vacca, said that the video of the bedlam at the bar was not as clear as prosecutors alleged. What prosecutors said was the flash of a gun muzzle could well have been the illumination of a cellphone, he argued.
An issue arose with the reading of the verdict Thursday that Vacca said could become an issue for appeal.
Though the jury had confirmed it had convicted Alligood of murder, the court clerk then asked if it had convicted Alligood of a lesser manslaughter charge. A jury forewoman answered affirmatively.
In court, Vacca asked for a mistrial, noting that the jury could not have convicted Alligood of murder and convicted him of the lesser charge of manslaughter. Argento ruled that the exchange was simply a slip by the clerk who mistakenly asked about the lesser charge.
Alligood was one of three high-profile cases in court this week in which parolees are accused of or convicted of committing serious crimes while under post-prison supervision.
“It was a highlight film of the failures of the parole system this past week,” said Gates Supervisor Mark Assini, who, along with the town’s police chief, has been particularly critical of parole supervision.
Assini, a Republican running for Congress, and Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode have pushed for better parole oversight. Parole needs more officers and should be using global positioning monitors to track parolees, they contend.
On trial this week is Johnny Blackshell, who was on parole at the time of the triple homicide at the Boys & Girls Club in August. Blackshell is facing murder charges in the drive-by shooting.
Sentenced this week was Shaun Zimmer, who was on parole when he went on a bank and convenience store robbery spree and stabbed a police officer in the arm. A judge sentenced Zimmer to 26 years. Alligood is scheduled to be sentenced June 23.