By Tien-Shun Lee
A Long Island man charged with attempted murder in 2001 after allegedly shooting a St. John's University football star in the back and paralyzing him for life has been accused of persuading a friend to lie on his behalf, the Queens district attorney said last Thursday.
The suspected perjury took place in June at the trial of Christopher Prince, 23, in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on whether or not Prince was guilty of attempted murder. A date for retrial has not yet been set.
Authorities said Prince, of Elmont, N.Y., persuaded Stanley Heriveaux, 19, to testify falsely under oath at his trial on June 5 and June 6 that he did not know Prince and did not drive him to and from the scene of the shooting.
“Those representations were material to the proceeding and were allegedly false,” said DA Richard Brown.
Heriveaux, who was also charged with perjury, is currently free on $5,000 bail, said a spokeswoman at the district attorney's office. Both he and Prince, who is being held in custody in jail, face up to seven years in prison if convicted of perjury.
If found guilty of attempted murder, Prince faces up to 25 years in prison, said the DA's spokeswoman.
According to trial testimony and police reports, the shooting took place on March 11, 2001 at around 3 a.m. in front of a St. John's University dormitory located near the school's Gate 1 on Utopia Parkway.
The incident began when Prince and several of his friends got into a dispute with another group of people inside of Traditions, a bar on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, said police. Cory Mitchell, a St. John's football team linebacker who was taking a semester off during his senior year and working as a bouncer at the bar, acted as a peacemaker between the two groups, diffusing the confrontation.
Several hours later, Prince encountered Mitchell, then 22, and his friends in front of a dormitory on the St. John's University campus, prosecutors said. After taunting them for several minutes, he suddenly pulled out a 9mm pistol and fired numerous times, the DA's office said.
One bullet ripped through the pants of Tyson Holley-Hines, then 24, Mitchell's teammate, but did not wound him, police said. Another bullet hit Rashan Fray, Holley-Hines' cousin, then 17, in the knee, seriously wounding him. A third bullet struck Mitchell once in the back as he ran for his life, leaving him paralyzed for life from the waist down.
Mitchell and six other eyewitnesses identified Prince as the shooter during the trial. According to the prosecution, Heriveaux and Prince were friends and Heriveaux drove Prince to and from the scene of the shooting.
St. John's spokesman Jody Fisher said Mitchell is still undergoing intensive rehabilitation for injuries caused by the shooting and has not returned to study at the university.
St. John's launched an intensive security review after the incident, led by Raymond Kelly, the current police commissioner. At a cost of $2.8 million, the university implemented 28 out of the 29 recommendations that Kelly made, including installing more security cameras, turnstile entrances at residence halls and metal in-ground teeth at campus gates.
“This was a direct response to the incident. We took it extremely seriously,” said Fisher.
No other shootings or stabbings have occurred on the university's campus since the March 2001 incident, said Fisher.
Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by email at Timesledger@aol.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.