Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 20 year-old Dante Richardson of 33 Linwood, Buffalo was convicted, as charged, after a week-long jury trial in front of County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case of Burglary in the First Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree.
During the late evening hours of July 13, 2012, Richardson and his accomplice, Jerry Wielbon, invaded the home of 48 year-old female victim in the City of Buffalo. Wearing masks and plastic gloves and armed with a loaded .32 caliber pistol, the assailants repeatedly threatened the victim’s life and demanded that she give them money. The assailants fled from the house when Buffalo police officers arrived, managing only to steal only $10 in cash and bag of condoms, leading one law enforcement source to observe, “the rubber really hit the road in this case.”
Richardson claimed that he was never inside the victim’s residence when arrested by the police. At trial, Richardson proposed an alternative “theory of defense” testifying that he had permission to enter the home from a former tenant; that he was simply collecting his friend’s belongings; and that the prosecution had “blown this out of proportion.” The jury quickly saw through the defendant’s lies, as evinced by their 1½ hours of deliberations, which included lunch.
Richardson’s accomplice, Jerry Wielbon, pleaded guilty to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Attempted Burglary in the First Degree in October of 2012 and is currently serving a 3 ½ year sentence. Richardson faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison when he is sentenced on April 4, 2014 before Judge Case.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kristi M. Ahlstrom, who is assigned to DA’s Sedita’s Special Victim’s Bureau and Ashley M. Morgan, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trials Bureau.