Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced today that an appellate panel has upheld the conviction of 58 year-old David Heck. On February 18, 2011, an Erie County jury found Heck guilty of Murder in the 2nd Degree in connection with the Christmas Eve 2009 bludgeoning death of his 87 year-old mother, Ruth. State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller sentenced Heck to the maximum prison sentence of 25 years to life.
In seeking to overturn his conviction, Heck claimed that the evidence was insufficient; that the police violated his rights; that the prosecution engaged in misconduct; and, that the judge made numerous mistakes which deprived him of a fair trial. The appellate panel rejected Heck’s arguments, noting that Heck, after striking his elderly mother in the head with a hammer at least 13 times, “staged the crime scene to make it appear that his mother had fallen and hit her head.”