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Ex-con who shot bystander in Battery Park City sentenced to 20 years, blames rival ferry ticket vendor he was aiming for

2019-09-11

He pulled the blame-the-victim defense. It didn’t work.

Ex-con Jason Wright, 39, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday for shooting an innocent 34-year-old woman in the knee in Battery Park City on April 24, 2017, after a judge discounted his excuse that he was aiming for a rival ferry ticket vendor, who was grazed in the chest during the violence.

Wright, who’s already served time in state prison for manslaughter, repeatedly interrupted Judge Robert Stolz to argue that he’s not a predicate felon, and that his rival punched him first.

"It’s no wonder that gun violence could take place around an individual such as that,” said Wright. “I happen to be the person who was found guilty of this shooting. Should it not be considered that he in some way is responsible?”

He added, “If this should have taken place in a back lot in Brooklyn some place, it wouldn’t have been given media attention.”

Stolz shot that argument down, telling Wright, “You are not being sentenced because this case received media attention.”

Assistant District Attorney Linda Ford pointed out the shooting sent tourists fleeing for their lives.

“[There were] schoolchildren who had to run because they heard shots,” Ford said. “After he walked away calmly, he took the subway back to Brooklyn.”

He even nonchalantly showed off his gun to a friend, Ford said.

Wright’s lawyer, Michael Hurowitz, requested the minimum sentence of 10 years. He called the shooting “illegal, irrational and dangerous,” adding, "But I would argue that that kind of behavior is not as bad as when you go out and intentionally kill someone.”