Court Rejects Ridiculous Self-Defense Claim

Modified: October 6, 2015 1:55pm

7/29/2015

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 18 year-old Andre Simmons of 408 Hewitt Street, Buffalo was convicted as charged, after a Non-Jury trial before Supreme Court Judge Deborah Haendiges of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree and three Counts of  Menacing in the Second Degree.  These are the highest charges for which Simmons could have been convicted. 

On October 18, 2014, Buffalo Police Officers responded to a 911 call at the defendant’s residence, where Simmons was observed menacing his mother, brother and step-father with a knife.  Simmons ignored repeated police commands to drop his weapon. Luckily, Simmons was distracted by his brother, which enabled Officer Dewayne Raye to dislodge the weapon from Simmons’ hand.  Officer Thelma Jones then kicked the knife out of Simmons’ reach until the weapon was secured. Despite the fact that it was Simmons alone who brandished a knife, and that Simmons ignored multiple police orders to drop the knife, he insisted he was merely acting in self-defense. As noted by one veteran courthouse observer, “it appears the court found Simmons’ self-defense claim rather unpersuasive.”

“Released Under Supervision,” Simmons faces a maximum of 1 year in jail when he is sentenced before Justice Haendiges on October 8, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Amy Benedict, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Domestic Violence Bureau.  DA Sedita stated:  “Because of the cool-headed professionalism of the responding officers, a tragedy was averted and another maniac was brought to justice.”