Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 29 year old Lincoln Ablack pleaded, as charged, to Witness Tampering in the First Degree, Burglary in the Second Degree, and Assault in the First Degree and today before Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang. These are the highest charges for which Ablack could have been convicted had he gone to trial.
Ablack admitted that on June 9, 2011 he broke into the home of Colleen Murray at 183 West Utica, Buffalo and stole the victim’s vehicle. Ablack returned on July 18, 2011 with co-defendant James Blair, and caused serious physical injury to Colleen Murray for the purpose of preventing her from giving testimony in Court. Although indicted for different crimes, Ablack and Blair were charged as co-defendants in a single indictment and were granted separate trials.
Blair opted for a jury trial. On June 18, 2012, an Erie County jury found Blair guilty, as charged, of Attempted Murder in the First Degree and Burglary in the First Degree. Blair faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment when he is sentenced on July 18, 2012 at 9:30 AM before Justice Wolfgang. Ablack faces a maximum prison sentence of 40 years when he is sentenced on August 2, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. before Justice Wolfgang.
District Attorney Sedita praised the efforts of Assistant District Attorneys Michael Felicetta and John Feroleto in successfully prosecuting the defendants, adding: “this office will not tolerate witness intimidation, and cowardly miscreants who engage in such reprehensible conduct, like Mr. Blair and Mr. Ablack, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Mr. Ablack also pleaded guilty today to Robbery in the Second Degree, as charged, before Judge Wolfgang today on a separate indictment. He admitted that on April 24, 2011, he forcibly stole cash, ipod and wallet from Vaughn Washington on Pearl and Allen in Buffalo. Ablack faces a maximum prison sentence of 15 years on this charge when he is sentenced on August 2, 2012.