Trial begins in shooting of pregnant woman

·2 min read

Mar. 22—WILKES-BARRE — Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Damel Latiek Wright, charged with the attempted homicide of a pregnant woman who suffered two gunshot wounds in Wilkes-Barre nearly two years ago.

Wilkes-Barre police detectives alleged Wright, 23, of Scranton, showed up at 212 McLean St. intending to fight Savon Collins, who stood behind Shaina Cook on April 4, 2020.

Wright was with three other men at the residence, court records say.

Detectives alleged Wright and another man discharged multiple rounds from firearms, striking Cook in a finger and leg.

Cook was pregnant at the time of the shooting.

Police said they recovered 19 shell casings in front of 216 McLean St., 10 casings from a .40-caliber firearm and nine casings from a 9mm firearms, court records say.

At the time of the shooting, a woman holding an infant was inside Cook's residence, which was struck at least seven times by spent rounds. An adjacent occupied house was struck at least five times, according to court records.

During a pre-trial conference to settle outstanding issues before Luzerne County Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr., Wright's attorney, Demetrius Fannick, requested certain restrictions regarding what the jury is told about the outcome of Cook's pregnancy.

Assistant District Attorney Drew McLaughlin said he plans to only inform the jury Cook was pregnant at the time of the shooting.

McLaughlin further noted efforts continue to find Collins to testify against Wright. Collins was one of four witnesses who provided statements to police Det. Matt Stash.

If Collins is not able to be found, Fannick wanted guarantees to limit the testimony of Stash when recalling his interviews with witnesses.

Wright is facing one count of criminal attempt to commit homicide, four counts each of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment and two counts of discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure.

Wright was captured by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force at a home on Mary Street, Scranton, on April 19, 2020.

Testimony is expected to begin Tuesday.