Accused Brighton Heights funeral shooter charged with homicide in fatal August shooting

PITTSBURGH — One of the teens charged in the Brighton Heights funeral shooting has been charged with criminal homicide in connection to a fatal shooting in August.

Hezekiah Nixon, 16, is being charged as an adult in the Aug. 7 shooting death of Stephone Drayton.

Drayton died at a local hospital after being shot in Pittsburgh’s California-Kirkbride neighborhood. Three other people were also injured in the shooting.

Nixon is being charged with criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault and firearms violations.

Casey White has been hired as Nixon’s lawyer.

“It is concerning,” White tells Channel 11 News. “These are significant allegations for this young man. He’s 16 and right now he’s sitting in the Allegheny County Jail waiting to be arraigned.”

White says his client is taking in all of the allegations.

“As it relates to the funeral home, that was a lot of consume for this young man,” White adds. “There’s a lot of weight and consequences that come from those types of allegations. Now to learn this, this is a lot to unpack for him and his family.”

White says his client is maintaining his innocence and there is quite a bit of doubt cast in both cases because there are multiple shooters.

“Apparently, there are a lot of shooters, a lot of parties involved and certainly credibility is going to be at issue with all these witnesses,” White says. “We’ll take it slowly and review the facts and allegations, talk to my client and figure out the next best step for this young man. If the case remains in the adult system, he could be found not guilty, and that’s our hope and goal. However, if he’s found guilty of first-degree murder or second-degree murder, he’s looking at potentially 30-60 years of his life being incarcerated.”

Tylajae Allen, 21, Andrew Johnson, 26, and Andre Allen, 21, were also arrested and charged in connection to the shooting.

Nixon and 19-year-old Shawn Davis have been charged with shooting six people and a horse in a targeted attack outside the funeral of John Hornezes on Oct. 28.

According to the criminal complaint, police matched casings found at the scene of Drayton’s shooting with the gun that Nixon allegedly threw into the Ohio River after the funeral shooting. A phone that was recovered from the McKees Rocks Bridge when Nixon was taken into custody that day was also used to tie him to Drayton’s murder, according to the complaint.

Nixon is already in the Allegheny County Jail on charges connected to the Brighton Heights shooting, including criminal conspiracy attempted homicide and aggravated assault, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, firearms violations, tampering with physical evidence and aggravated cruelty to an animal.

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