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Appellate Division upheld 2010 robbery conviction


02/13/2012

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced today that an

appellate court has upheld the 2010 robbery convictions of defendant Errol

Fowler Graham.

On November 14, 2009, the defendant carjacked a 22 year-old woman on

Crescent Avenue in Buffalo's Parkside neighborhood. After robbing her, the

defendant forced the woman to drive him to her village of Kenmore

apartment. Once there, the defendant robbed the initial victim's 22 year-old

roommate. On June 22, 2010, the defendant pleaded guilty, as charged, to

two counts of first degree robbery. These were the highest charges for which

the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial. On August 7,

2010, Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns sentenced defendant to 15

years in state prison.

Despite the fact that he pleaded guilty and admitted his guilt under oath, the

defendant filed an appeal challenging his conviction. A five judge panel

sitting on the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester

affirmed the defendant's convictions and sentence.

In an unusual twist, between the time of his robbery convictions and appeal,

the defendant was again indicted and convicted. As a result of the Graham's

robbery conviction, he was compelled to provide a sample of his DNA,

which linked him to the previously unsolved June 2009 gunpoint rape of a

45 year-old Buffalo woman. On October 21, 2011, the defendant was

convicted after trial, as charged, of first degree rape. On November 21, 2011,

Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case sentenced the defendant to 17

years in state prison, to be served consecutively (i.e. after the defendant

completes the 15 year robbery sentence imposed by Justice Burns).