By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A witness says sparks were flying as bullets hit cars and houses during a shootout last Thanksgiving outside a Nicetown bar that claimed the life of an innocent victim — a 25-year-old woman who, hours earlier, had enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with her family.
Today, three of four defendants were ordered to stand trial, despite conflicting testimony by the only eyewitness to testify.
The witness, a bouncer at the bar, says there was an argument inside the bar and then gunfire outside — lots of gunfire, coming from different directions.
The bouncer says he then saw a woman, later identified as Johnika Tiggett, on the ground nearly a block away, the victim of a gunshot wound (see related story).
Tiggett’s aunt, with other family members in court today, said they were here for justice.
“My niece is not going to die in vain,” the aunt said afterward, invoking her religious faith. “We know a righteous judge who sits high and looks low.”
And for Tiggett’s mother, Debra Morgan, this is another unbearable loss after the death of another of her children years ago in an accident.
“I lost my first when he was two,” she recalled today. “I had (Jonika) 14 years later, and I now 38 years later I’ve got to go through this again.”
The prosecutor says they’ll refile charges in the one case that was dismissed. All the defense attorneys argued there wasn’t enough evidence to show any of their clients were involved in the shooting.