Modified: January 6, 2016 10:32am
First Assistant Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 31 year-old Marlon Gardner of 22 Lyth, Buffalo, pleaded guilty, as charged, before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio to Attempted Murder in the Second Degree and Assault in the First Degree. These are the highest charges for which Gardner could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, he did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Gardner admitted that on November 16, 2014 he attempted to kill his friend of 25 years, Brandon Stewart, because he thought Stewart was spreading rumors about him and an alleged contracted sexually transmitted disease (herpes).
Gardner, the victim and a third-party met up on November 16, 2014. After the three men drove around for a few hours, the victim exited the car to leave. The defendant then took a shotgun from inside the car and exited as well. The defendant followed the victim down the sidewalk and shot the victim from 5 feet away. The victim was hit in the arm, face, abdomen and thigh. The driver of the vehicle, who witnessed the entire event, came to the aid of the victim and helped him to a corner store where 911 was called.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kristin St. Mary, Felony Trial Bureau Chief at the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. Gardner faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years when he is sentenced on November 10, 2015 before Judge DiTullio.