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Man accused of shooting Ithaca police officer arraigned

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Man accused of shooting Ithaca police officer arraigned
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It was a heated atmosphere in court, as the man accused of shooting an Ithaca police officer appeared for his arraignment. Tamara Lindstrom has more on the charges against Jamel Booker and the scene in court Wednesday.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- He's accused of trying to kill a police officer and when Jamel Booker, 22, appeared before a Tompkins County judge, there were dozens of officers to greet him.

"We're like one big family. And when a family member has been victimized, as in the case of Anthony Augustine, we're here to show our support," said Ithaca Police Lt. Vincent Monticello.

Booker is accused of shooting Officer Anthony Augustine on October 11th.

Prosecutors say Booker stole a car and when police tried to stop him, he ran. That's when they say he turned and fired at Augustine, shooting him in the chest.

Booker is facing eight counts, including attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

It's a case that's already receiving widespread attention.

"In court, you treat it just as you would any other case. Outside of court, you just try to make sure the witnesses are doing what they're supposed to be doing and not being pressured or influenced by anything that's going on outside the courtroom walls," said Assistant District Attorney Andrew McElwee.

Inside the courtroom, Officer Augustine watched the proceedings, surrounded by family and fellow police. Booker was smiling as he entered the room.

"That just shows his character, or lack thereof,” Monticello said. "But we're professionals and we'll handle things like that in a professional way."

Booker's attorney, Kristine Shaw, declined to comment. But in court, she did point out the large presence of police officers and said she may ask to have the trial moved to a new location.

The judge increased Booker's bail to $1 million cash. If he is convicted, he will face a minimum of 25 years to life in prison.

A second defendant was also arraigned Wednesday. Kimberly Harden, 35, has been charged with hindering prosecution and falsely reporting an incident.

Prosecutors say Booker hid in Harden's apartment as police searched for him, but her attorney said she came forward and told police where he was.

"She went up to the police officers, to a Lieutenant and told them Booker was in her apartment and that she didn't believe Booker could have shot a police officer, that he was with her," said Harden's attorney, Lance Salisbury. "Subsequently ,they surrounded the apartment. She had kids there. They all came outside and Mr. Booker was arrested then."

Harden pleaded not guilty to the charges. Her bail was reduced to $2,500.

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