Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 35 year-old Sheila Kowal was convicted, as charged, of Attempted Murder in the 2nd Degree, Assault in the 1st Degree, and Burglary in the 1st Degree after a 1 week jury trial before Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio.
On November 6, 2011 at approximately 1:30 AM, Kowal and her boyfriend, Jeremy Maier, broke into the Lackawanna apartment of Craig Holmes. Kowal stabbed the victim approximately 9 times as she was allegedly encouraged to kill him by her boyfriend/accomplice. Kowal testified at trial, claiming that she stabbed the victim in self-defense. The trial jury rejected that claim in light of prosecution evidence demonstrating that the defendant unlawfully entered the victim’s home through his widow and, once inside, inflicted 8 of the 9 stab wounds to the victim’s back. DA Sedita praised the efforts of Assistant District Attorney Sara Ogden, stating: “her withering cross-examination of the defendant clearly demonstrated the complete implausibility of her self-defense claim.”
Kowal faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years when she is sentenced on January 10, 2013 at 9:30 AM before Judge DiTullio. The trial of co-defendant Jeremy Maier is scheduled to begin on November 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM before Judge DiTullio.