City Grill Mass Shooting Suspect Appears in Court

January 26, 2011 Updated Jan 26, 2011 at 9:20 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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January 26, 2011 Updated Jan 26, 2011 at 9:20 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The defense attorney for the City Grill mass shooting suspect is asking that witness identification of the defendant be ruled inadmissible as evidence at his client's upcoming trial.

A decision will be made by Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio before the start of the March 14 trial, said defense attorney Joseph Terranova.

"There was considerable drinking going on," Terranova said. "It's 2:30 a.m. All of a sudden the place empties, there's a fight outside, shots are fired and I think that most people are very poor witnesses for identification purposes under conditions like that."

Wednesday's hearing "allows the judge to evaluate the manner in which identification procedures took place," said prosecutor James Bargnesi. "And after the judge does that the judge makes a decision as to whether those identifications can be made at trial."

Police detectives in Buffalo's homicide squad testified that several witnesses identified McCray in photo lineups.

"All of these things are basically circumstantial evidence and it's the district attorney's task to try to weave all that together into a persuasive case," said Terranova.

McCray is charged with killing four people outside City Grill Restaurant in downtown Buffalo on Aug. 14.

Killed were Willie McCaa, 26; Tiffany Wilhite, 32; Danyell Mackin, 30 and Shawntia McNeil, 27. Four others were shot and injured.

Prosecutors said there was only one shooter at the scene, which was captured on surveillance video by a NFTA camera.