Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 37 year- old Taiwan Baldwin was found guilty as charged of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree after a week-long trial presided over by Erie County Court Judge Michael Pietruszka.
On May 18th, 2013, authorities received a distraught 911 call from a woman reporting that a man named Taiwan Baldwin was on her porch with a shotgun, trying to kick in the front door. Buffalo police officers John Sullivan and Thomas Herbert promptly responded and saw Baldwin walking away from the crime scene. When officers approached him, Baldwin fled and surreptitiously but unsuccessfully attempted to discard his sawed-off shotgun.
Four days after the crime, Baldwin called his girlfriend from jail and implored her to get the telephone number of the 911 caller because she, “is the key to the case…she’s in control of this case… I need her number… make it seem like I love her and shit.” Sadly, Baldwin’s efforts at witness tampering apparently proved fruitful, as the 911 caller could not be located once trial commenced.
Shockingly, it seems Baldwin suborned perjury as well, calling his girlfriend as a witness to claim the two of them were merely out for a midnight stroll when they just happened to walk past a discarded sawed-off shotgun at the same moment when police officers were responding to the 911 call, specifically naming Baldwin as a shotgun wielding, would-be home invader.
No stranger to the criminal justice system, this is Baldwin’s fourth felony conviction over a twenty year period. Baldwin faces a maximum sentence of 25 years-to-life in state prison should the court determine that he is a persistent felony offender. Sentencing is scheduled for August 25, 2014 at 9:30 am before Judge Pietruszka.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Eugene Partridge, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Tactical Prosecution Unit, and Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Murray, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.