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Man who Backed Out of Guilty Plea Found Guilty by Jury


06/03/2013

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III announced that 22 year old Lewis E. Laster was convicted as charged of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree after a three-day Jury trial before Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller. The Jury deliberated just 40 minutes before reaching its verdict.

Laster’s conviction stems from the November 20, 2010 possession of a loaded 32 caliber Colt revolver, which Buffalo Police Officers found in his car under the driver’s seat where he was sitting. Laster admitted to the police that the gun was his and reiterated his guilt three months later to an investigator from the District Attorney’s Office.

In 2011, Laster again admitted his guilt by pleading guilty as charged and was sentenced to a prison term of three and a half years, the minimum sentence under the law.

Apparently dissatisfied with his sentence, Laster convinced the court to set aside his guilty plea, claiming his first lawyer was “ineffective.”. Laster then tried to negotiate a plea deal. The District Attorney refused to plea bargain with Laster, who then opted for a jury trial. He was convicted, as charged, in less than an hour.

The case was successfully prosecuted by ADA Paul J. Williams, III. Laster faces a maximum prison term of 15 years when he is sentenced before the Hon. M. William Boller on June 27, 2013.