Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III announced that 36 year-old Angel Morales of 62 Paul Place, Buffalo, pleaded guilty as charged to Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (AKA “Leandra’s Law”) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child before Erie County Court Judge Thomas P. Franczyk. These are the highest charges for which Morales could have been convicted had he gone to trial.
On July 25, 2013 at 7:51 PM, Morales collided with another vehicle on Old Lakeshore Rd. in the Town of Hamburg. Responding officers observed nine children, all under fifteen years-old, inside Morales’ vehicle; indeed, there were more children than seats. Responding officers also observed the odor of alcohol on Morales’ breath, as well as his slurred speech and impaired motor coordination. Morales failed four field sobriety tests and registered a .13% blood alcohol content.
Morales also pleaded guilty to Attempted Burglary in the Second Degree, a violent felony, before Judge Franczyk. On August 12, 2013, while free on the bail he posted relative to the Aggravated DWI charge, Morales burgled a Hamburg residence, stealing prescription medications, a purse and jewelry. Morales was quickly apprehended and remanded into the custody of the Erie County Sheriff, where he has since remained.
The Aggravated DWI case was successfully prosecuted by ADA Christopher McCarthy, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau. The Burglary case was successfully prosecuted by ADA James Mansour, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau. Both cases were professionally investigated by officers from the Town of Hamburg Police Department. Morales faces up to eleven years in state prison when sentenced by Judge Franczyk on November 1, 2013.