ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Dontie Mitchell spent years speaking out against gun violence after he was granted clemency for an armed robbery he committed at just 17 years old. He pleaded not guilty Wed. to a murder charge related to the first homicide Cohoes has seen in three years.

According to police, the shooting happened on Aug. 11, Mitchell is accused of causing the death of 27-year-old Shieer Leggett, who died in a crossfire between a group of people at Main and Schuyler streets. Leggett suffered serious injuries and died at Albany Medical Center.

Mitchell pleaded not guilty to second degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment. Rebekah Sokol, his attorney, said they have no information other than the allegations relating Mitchell to this shooting.

“We’re trying to get as much information as possible from the District Attorney to figure out what they’re saying so we can try to combat that,” Sokol said.

Mitchell previously served 24 years in prison for armed robbery and since then has been an advocate against gun violence, using his clemency as an opportunity to support the Raise the Age law and run a mentorship program in Albany to prevent kids from getting involved in crime and violence.

Sokol said she hopes that mission is carried on through the court process.

“In a weird way, this actually brings attention to the very issue that he was trying to, the idea that there is this gun violence,” Sokol said. “Certainly he was not involved and we are maintaining he was not, but at the same time this is the very type of situation he was looking to benefit.” 

Mitchell was remanded without bail to Albany County Correctional Facility. His next court date is set for Sept. 22.