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Defense team for alleged Tops gunman could seek psychiatric defense

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Posted at 4:09 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 16:21:43-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW)  — The defense attorneys representing the alleged gunman in the Tops Friendly Markets mass shooting have 90 days to file notice of a psychiatric defense.

On Thursday, Judge Susan Eagan heard motions in Erie County Court with 19-year-old Payton Gendron present.

The defense requested an extension to consider a psychiatric defense for Gendron. An attorney representing the alleged gunman said they're not sure if that type of defense "fits" or will be used, but wanted time for an evaluation to occur.

Prosecutor John Feroleto argued the defense should have made that decision by the time of the appearance.

Notice of a psychiatric defense will need to be filed by Oct. 6.

Eagan rejected a second motion by the defense that sought to delay the state prosecution for one year while the federal case proceeds.

Having a federal trial at the same time would imperil the ability of the defense to put forward their strongest case, Attorney Robert Cutting argued.

"At the end of the day, we don't want our client killed," said Cutting.

The half-hour proceeding was attended by several family members of the victims of the May 14 shooting.