ITHACA, N.Y. — After a paperwork error, the man accused of shooting a person in the Ithaca Commons early Sunday morning was issued a bail and bond option Monday afternoon in Ithaca City Court.
Yakez Cornett Sr., 22, is charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
He was previously held without bail, but the attempted murder charge was initially miscategorized as an A Felony instead of a B Felony. The B Felony status means he is now eligible for bail.
In court, District Attorney Matt Van Houten said a conviction on the charges could land Cornett in jail for a minimum of five years and a maximum of 25 years.
“So the charges are very serious,” he said.
He noted that Cornett is accused of firing a gun in a crowd of people and shooting a man multiple times, including as he lay on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds.
It’s alleged that the shooting was sparked after Cornett bumped into a man and wanted to fight him. An argument between Cornett, the man and his friends led to one of the men being shot in the leg and multiple times in the back.
Van Houten asked Judge Scott Miller to set the bail at $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.
Attorney Kevin Kelly said, “Your honor, $50,000 is going to be a lot of money for a 22-year-old who’s unemployed right now.”
He said Cornett has no criminal convictions and that his family relies on him for childcare for his son. He also said Cornett has strong ties to the community.
“There’s a lot of family and friends here who came out to support him,” Kelly said, gesturing to more than a dozen people in attendance for the proceeding.
He asked Miller to set a lower bail that Cornett and his family and friends could pull together.
Miller said that among the issues considered when determining bail are Cornett’s character and reputation, employment, family ties, and criminal record or lack thereof.
“Those certainly weigh in his favor, those factors,” Miller said, but he noted the evidence against Cornett.
“The weight of the evidence — multiple eye witnesses, a victim that fortunately has survived with at least two gunshot wounds…The weight of this evidence is …strong,” Miller said.
He set bail at $50,000 or $100,000 bond.
Cornett is scheduled to reappear in Ithaca City Court at 2 p.m. for a felony preliminary hearing, pending grand jury decisions at the Tompkins Count Court.