Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 52 year-old Shawn Sivertson was convicted, as charged, of Robbery in the First Degree after a week-long jury trial before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns.
Sivertson approached the clerk at a University Heights 7-11 convenience store and, while wielding a knife, demanded money. Although the clerk couldn’t open the cash register, Sivertson was not to be denied, as he proceeded to steal the proceeds from a counter collection receptacle intended for the benefit of cancer victims. Sivertston asserted a two-prong defense at trial, namely (1) it wasn’t him, but (2) if it was him, he didn’t wield a knife. The jury quickly saw through this inherently contradictory canard, and convicted the defendant in under an hour.
Although inadmissible at trial, Sivertson’s record shows the soundness of the jury’s verdict. Sivertson is a lifelong criminal with five prior felony convictions over the last 33 years. In a shocking co-incidence, four of his five prior convictions are for knifepoint robberies. In other words, this case marks the fifth time that Sivertson has been successfully prosecuted for a knife-point robbery. Accordingly, DA Sedita intends to petition the court that Sivertson be sentenced as a Persistent Violent Felony Offender.
The case was successfully prosecuted by ADA Michael Felicetta, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Tactical Prosecution Unit. DA Sedita also credited the prompt and professional investigation by the Buffalo Police Department. If found to be a Persistent Violent Felony Offender, Sivertson faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years to life when sentenced on November 13, 2013 by Justice Burns.