Trial opens in shooting of Joe Frazier kin

June 15, 2010 at 4:01 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, June 15 (UPI) -- A Philadelphia man is on trial for a bar shooting that resulted in the death of the stepgrandson of boxing legend Joe Frazier, observers said.

Evidence suggests Frazier's stepgrandson Peter Lyde Jr. was shot by a short, red-shirted man who escaped, prosecutors admit, but they allege the defendant, Rodney Evans, put events in motion and is culpable, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday.

"When an innocent person gets killed," Assistant District Attorney Leon Goodman said, "both of them are responsible. Both acted with an intent to kill."

Lyde, 25, had been hired as a bouncer for the May 2009 reopening of the Pleasures of the Ridge bar in north Philadelphia.

Evans got into a heated argument with the shorter man, Goodman told the court, over a seat at the bar.

Goodman said witnesses would testify Evans pulled a gun and chased the red-shirted man from the bar.

The two exchanged gunfire, Goodman alleged, and one bullet hit Lyde in the chest, fatally wounding him.

An investigation determined a .40-caliber bullet killed Lyle, and .40-caliber cartridge casings were found across the street from the bar where the red-shirted man was shooting, Goodman said.

Defense attorney Jack McMahon told the jury evidence would show Evans, 33, was not armed, and no spent cartridge casings were found where he was standing outside the bar.

"This man never shot anyone on the planet that night," McMahon said in his opening statement.

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