BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A judge has scheduled two hearings in the mass murder case against a high-school dropout charged with opening fire on a crowd outside a Buffalo restaurant.

Riccardo McCray faces first- and second-degree murder charges for the deaths of four people gunned down outside Buffalo’s City Grill Aug. 14. Four others were wounded.

On Monday, an Erie County Court judge scheduled a November 5 hearing on a possible conflict of interest involving one of McCray’s lawyers. A hearing set for December 6 will involve whether McCray’s statements will be allowed in evidence at his trial, tentatively set for March.

The 23-year-old McCray has pleaded not guilty. If convicted of the most serious charge, he could face a sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole.

McCray has been in jail since surrendering 11 days after the shooting.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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