An 8-year-old boy who was inside an apartment where two people were fatally shot will be allowed to testify at the suspect's murder trial next week after proving to a judge that he understands the difference between the truth and a lie.
Prosecutors want the boy to take the stand at the trial of Bruce Miles, who is charged with killing a man and a woman in Syracuse, New York, in 2021, the Post-Standard of Syracuse reported. Jury selection is scheduled to start Monday.
The boy was questioned by prosecution and defense lawyers at a hearing Thursday before Onondaga County Judge Gordon Cuffy, who said he was satisfied that the boy was able to respect the importance of telling the truth in a courtroom.
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When asked by defense attorney Ed Klein whether he had ever told a lie, the boy said he once told his uncle that he had eaten some noodles when he hadn’t. He said he knew that telling the truth was good and telling a lie was bad.
The child was inside the apartment when a gunman unleashed a barrage of bullets, killing Shabriah Gainey, 29, and Julian Mansaw, 33. Gainey was shot five times and Mansaw was hit 10 times, according to an indictment.
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The boy's relationship to the victims was not disclosed.
Assistant District Attorney Anthony Copani told the judge the boy would be asked at trial why he woke up the night of the shooting and what he saw and did. The prosecutor said the boy was the only living witness to leave the apartment that day.
Miles was arrested in Ohio and is charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.