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DA Continues to Fight Frivolous Appeals


02/15/2013

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced today that the convictions of following four defendants, all of whom committed violent felonies, were upheld on appeal: Tyler Morford, who previously pleaded guilty to Burglary in the 2nd Degree in connection with a 5:30 AM burglary of a residence while the homeowners were present; Stanley McCarty Jr., who previously pleaded guilty to Assault in the 1st Degree in connection with attacking a motorist with a baseball bat; Christopher Scott, who previously pleaded guilty to Rape in the 1st Degree in connection with the rape of his 8 year-old daughter; and, Kasiem Williams, who previously pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the 1st Degree in connection the fatal shooting of Virgil Page.

All of the foregoing convictions were also accompanied by two appeal waivers; i.e. a verbal waiver of appeal made under oath and a written waiver of appeal. Despite having twice waived their right to appeal (in exchange for sentencing consideration from the court) the defendants appealed, which caused the District Attorney’s Office to devote substantial resources to fight the appeals and uphold the convictions.

All of the above defendants were represented by lawyers who were paid for their legal representation from public funds.

DA Sedita stated: “While it is important that financially poor defendants have competent legal representation, it is troubling when costly and frivolous appeals are being repeatedly brought on behalf of admitted violent felons, especially when they are also being repeatedly financed by the law-abiding taxpayers of Erie County.”