SOMERVILLE — A Franklin Township man was was acquitted first-degree attempted murder but convicted of the lesser charge of second-degree aggravated assault in a 2015 drive-by shooting in the township Friday in Somerset County Superior Court.

Devin Alexander (Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office)

Devin Alexander, 22, of the Somerset section of Franklin, shot at Andre Johnson, 22, on Ambrose Street on Aug. 1, 2015, prosecutors said.

Alexander, who is currently serving prison time for a previous aggravated assault on Johnson, was also found guilty possession of a handgun with the purpose to use it unlawfully and second-degree possession of a handgun without a permit.

Alexander showed little reaction to the guilty verdict. He turned, shrugged his shoulders and smiled slightly at family members in the courtroom. 

Superior Court Judge Bradford M. Bury set April 7 as the sentencing date.

Alexander, who eligible to serve an extended term in prison because of his prior convictions, is facing a maximum sentence of 30 years in state prison with 85 percent served without parole eligibility.

Assistant Prosecutor William Guhl handled the case for the state. Attorney Anthony Mignella represented Alexander. Both declined comment.

The four-day trial ended on Wednesday and the jury began deliberations Thursday morning. It reached its verdict Friday afternoon.

During the trial, both the victim and co-defendant Avery Gorman testified for the prosecution.

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Johnson, who has known Alexander for more than a decade, was previously assaulted by Alexander in 2014. The drive-by shooting occurred while Alexander was awaiting sentencing after being convicted of the aggravated assault against Johnson.

Johnson told police he was parked in his car in front of 62 Ambrose St. on Aug. 3, 2015 when a 2014 dark blue Honda Accord with tinted windows drove by. The front passenger side window came down and he saw Alexander point a black handgun toward him and fire. Johnson said glass shattered in all directions and the Honda sped off.

As Johnson attempted to leave the area, he said he again saw the Honda and Alexander sitting in the front passenger seat. He also recognized Gorman, who was the driver.

Gorman was arrested the following day. Alexander was arrested several days later following a police manhunt.

Dave Hutchinson may be reached at him on Twitter @DHutch_SL. Find on Facebook.

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