Gunman Admits Shooting at Deputies

Modified: November 25, 2014 11:31am

10/9/2014

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 48 year-old Matthew W. Eck of 5978 Brown Hill Road in the Town of Boston, pleaded guilty today before Senior Erie County Court Judge Michael D’Amico to two counts of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree in satisfaction of an indictment charging him with two counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree. On March 16, 2014 Eck shot at Deputies Jonathan Hanna and Brad Ballantyne as they responded to his residence for a domestic disturbance involving Eck’s wife and daughter. 

Although a reduced plea or so-called “plea bargain” is unusual after an indictment has been lodged (approximately 93% of indicted cases in Erie County result in a trial or a guilty plea to the highest charge), the plea was offered after consultation with and approval from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and with Deputies Hanna and Ballantyne themselves and upon the condition that the defendant be sentenced to at least 15 years in state prison. Deputies Hanna and Ballantyne were also present in the courtroom when the defendant admitted his guilt, entered his guilty plea, and waived his right to appeal to a higher court. 

Eck faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 50 years in state prison when he is sentenced on November 7, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. before Judge D’Amico. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney James F. Bargnesi, Chief of DA Sedita’s Homicide Bureau.