Modified: December 15, 2015 4:09pm
First Assistant Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces 33 year-old Latisha Maxwell pleaded guilty as charged to three counts of Kidnapping in the Second Degree and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio. These are the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted had she gone to trial. In other words, Maxwell did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
On October 5, 2014, Maxwell went to the family home of her estranged husband armed with a loaded semi-automatic pistol and took three members of his family hostage. While pointing the gun at them, Maxwell repeatedly demanded to speak to her estranged husband. Once in contact with him, Maxwell told her estranged husband that unless he came over, she would kill everyone inside the house.
Buffalo Police Officers and hostage negotiators quickly responded to the scene but Maxwell refused to surrender or to release any of her victims. After about several hours, Maxwell fired a gunshot. Once inside the house, the police discovered that Maxwell had shot herself but the wound was not life threatening. The victims were taken to safety without further harm and Maxwell was treated and released from ECMC.
Maxwell faces up to 50 years in state prison when she is sentenced on October 29, 2015 before Judge DiTullio.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Eugene T. Partridge, III, who is assigned to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office Tactical Prosecution Unit. First Assistant District Attorney Flaherty lauded the efforts of the Buffalo Police Department SWAT team, stating, “because of their bravery and cool headed professionalism, a tragedy was prevented and the defendant was brought to justice.”