Modified: January 15, 2016 5:25pm
First Assistant Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces an Erie County Court jury convicted 30-year-old Sir Prince Sommerville of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Assault in the Second Degree. The jury returned a guilty verdict on both counts in the indictment following an eight-day trial before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case.
At trial the jury learned that on January 13, 2015, Sommerville, armed with a loaded .44 caliber gun, walked up the stairs of a 49-year-old Buffalo man’s apartment and tried to force his way inside, but the victim was able to close his door before Sommerville gained entrance. Frustrated, Sommerville fired two shots through the door, striking the victim in the hand, and barely missing his head. The victim survived his injuries.
The jury also heard testimony describing how after the shooting, Sommerville solicited the help of a third party and attempted to bribe the victim so that he would not cooperate in the prosecution.
Flaherty praised the professional efforts of Buffalo Police Detectives Carl Lundin and Joy Jermain. “Thanks once again to diligent thorough police work of those officers, another violent criminal has been brought to justice.” Familiar with the criminal justice system, Sommerville has two prior violent felony convictions – both for Attempted Robbery in the Second Degree. Sommerville was remanded into custody pending his December 9, 2015 sentencing before Judge Case, and he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison as a persistent violent felony offender. The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Diane Meldrim of the Erie County District Attorney’s Office Felony Trial Bureau, and Senior Trial Counsel Christopher J. Belling.