Prosecution Rests In Trial
Defense Will Have Chance To Call Witnesses On Thursday
MAYVILLE — The prosecution rested its case in the second-degree murder trial of David F. Waggoner after testimony was provided by witnesses who watched the July 2018 shooting occur.
Waggoner, 54, is accused of shooting 30-year-old William J. Michishima in front of 114 Livingston Ave. in Jamestown on July 24, 2018. Michishima was taken to an Erie, Pa., hospital where he died the following day.
“It was a matter of seconds,” said Daryl Ferraro of the events that unfolded that morning.
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson is handling the prosecution of the case, which is taking place in front of County Court Judge David Foley.
Waggoner is represented by Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone, who has maintained that Waggoner’s actions were in response to Michishima’s aggression.
Witnesses Ferraro and Tod Ness, both working construction at the time, were driving in Ferraro’s truck on their way to Home Depot in the village of Lakewood the morning of the shooting. The duo came to a stop at an intersection on Livingston Avenue. Ferraro and Ness said they watched two individuals engaged in an argument that led to pushes and punches until one of them, identified as Michishima, fell backward.
After a brief scuffle that lasted only a few seconds, one individual, identified by both witnesses as Waggoner, raised his right arm with a handgun and fired one shot, according to testimony heard in court.
“I saw the gentlemen (identified as Waggoner) pull the gun. I heard a pop and the other man fell,” Ness said on the stand.
Ness said he exited the vehicle briefly and moved toward the scene. Waggoner allegedly walked toward Ferraro’s vehicle at first before stopping. Ferraro directed his colleague to get back in the vehicle.
At this time, David Winner and his wife, Barbara, were traveling that day in their vehicle from the opposite direction toward the scene.
Winner testified that he and his wife noticed a person lying in the middle of the street and decided to help.
The prosecution has asserted that a .22 caliber gun found on Bailey Street, accompanied by another weapon, is the weapon used by Waggoner to shoot Michishima. The .22 caliber gun alone was accepted into evidence.
Winner said Waggoner returned to the street — which prompted Ness, still in Ferraro’s truck down the street — to exit the vehicle again and warn Winner of an active shooter. Ness said he yelled to Winner.
Waggoner who was returning to the street yelled back, “There’s no (expletive) gun. There’s no (expletive) gun,” Winner testified.
Winner said he immediately noticed a pool of blood coming from Michishima’s head. Waggoner allegedly told Winner the injury was sustained from a fall after an altercation. Winner recalled remarking to Waggoner that the injury appeared to be worse than a simple head injury. He remembered fire and law enforcement services arriving shortly after.
Swanson and the prosecution rested its case after Winner’s testimony.
Floyd Kent, now an investigator for the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, also testified Tuesday. After the events of July 24, Kent test-fired the confiscated weapons found on Bailey Street believed to be Waggoner’s firearms. Test-firing the weapons is standard JPD procedure. One of the weapons discovered, the .22 caliber revolver, was determined to be operable while the another was not. Based on Kent’s testimony, Foley allowed the .22 caliber weapon to be entered into evidence.
Court was adjourned until Thursday morning.
Barone will have the chance to call the defense’s witnesses to the stand when court resumes.