Brighton, N.Y. --- Police found the defendant’s father at the crime scene, possession of a pet cat could have sparked the deadly confrontation, and a teenage girl may have witnessed the shooting but police only learned that a day later.
Those are just some of the new pieces of information learned after a review of court documents on file at the Monroe County Court Clerk’s Office.
Maxwell Wyant, 24, was arrested in February following the shooting death of a former roommate of his, Christopher “C.J.” Schoen, 21 of Irondequoit. Schoen was found lying dead outside of 37 Hartfeld Drive in the evening of February 8, 2012. Wyant was charged with his murder.
13WHAM News reviewed the public records in the case against Wyant after a charge of Murder 2nd Degree was reduced to Assault 1st Degree last week. The decision issued by Monroe County Court Judge Doug Randall states that “the People have failed to present legally sufficient evidence establishing every element of the crime charged.”
Late Monday a spokesman from the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office responded to multiple inquiries by 13WHAM News with a statement that reads, “We have appealed a decision we strongly believe was erroneous. Until the appeal is decided, we will not comment.” District Attorney Sandra Doorley was in Albany on Monday meeting with the Governor according to her office.
Police records attached to the court file reveal that Wyant told officers that Schoen “took his cat without permission” after moving out of the Hartfeld Drive residence a month prior. Wyant goes on to state that Schoen “broke into the house and came after him” and he repeatedly claims he was defending himself.
Wyant told police he first shot Schoen with “a less than lethal Lightfeld quishball round” from one barrel of a double-barreled shotgun. “It was self defense, I was protecting myself from that devil!"
"This case is a lot more about bullying than it is about a property dispute,” Wyant’s lawyer James Nobles said in an interview on Monday. “There was a cat that was taken from my client's residence by his former roommate at some point in time without his permission but the argument that day I can tell you had nothing to do with a cat, it was about bullying."