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Defendants who Kidnapped and Tortured Victim, as they Accused Him of Being an Informant, Convicted as Charged


08/21/2014

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III announces that 23 year-old Wesley Woods of 230 Jewett Ave. in the City of Buffalo and 29 year-old Stephen Dawson, aka “Shooter Steve” of 54 Brewster in the City of Buffalo, were convicted as charged of Kidnapping in the First Degree and Robbery in the First Degree after a week-long jury trial before Acting Supreme Court Justice Russell Buscaglia.

On December 28, 2013, in the vicinity of Jewett and Fillmore in the City of Buffalo, the defendants and another assailant (who cooperated and testified at trial), punched, kicked, and robbed 24 year-old Barry Workman. The apparent motive for the armed robbery was a drug debt Workman purportedly owed to Woods.

Not satisfied with merely assaulting and robbing the victim, the defendants abducted Workman and took him back to the basement of Woods’ residence. Over the course of the next seventeen hours, the defendants beat the victim, pistol-whipped him, poured gasoline on him, repeatedly stuck the barrel of a loaded gun in his mouth, and drilled into his teeth with a power drill. Throughout this torture, the defendants repeatedly accused the victim of being a police informant.

Especially proud of his depraved conduct, Dawson recorded portions of it on his cell phone and posted it on Facebook under the moniker “Shooter Steve.” Alarmed family members reported this to the police, who, in turn, rescued the victim from his captivity and arrested the defendants.

Both defendants face a minimum of fifteen years and a maximum of life imprisonment when sentenced by Justice Buscaglia October 8, 2014 at 9:30am.

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John Feroleto, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Tactical Prosecution Unit, and Assistant District Attorney Kristi Ahlstrom, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.