Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 34-year old Jerome Ingram of Buffalo was convicted of Burglary in the Second Degree after a seven-day jury trial before State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Haendiges. This was the highest charge for which the defendant was indicted and could have been convicted.
On June 28, 2012, Ingram became embroiled in an argument with his girlfriend/mother of his child while visiting at her City of Buffalo residence. Ingram was asked to leave and pretended to do so. The victim then called a male friend and asked him to visit her. Upon the friend’s arrival, Ingram, in a jealous rage, jumped out of the room in which he had been hiding and attacked his girlfriend. Ingram fled when the police were called.
Ingram re-entered the apartment through a window as the police were outside searching for him. Now wielding a knife, Ingram threatened to kill his girlfriend and her friend. As the police were closing in, Ingram seized their cellular telephones (so they could not communicate with the police) and again fled, or so it appeared.
When his girlfriend went outside to summon the police, Ingram attacked her once more, shouting “I hate you, I should kill you” as he repeatedly kicked her. Ingram fled as the police approached and, after a foot chase, was found courageously hiding under bushes by Buffalo Police Officers Mark Goodspeed, Dennis Gilbert, Brian Griffin, and Nick Poblocki. The knife and the victims’ cellular telephones were found in Ingram’s possession.
Sadly but predictably, witness tampering and intimidation, which included Facebook postings suggesting retaliation should witnesses testify, was attempted. The defendant’s girlfriend and her friend, the two principal eyewitnesses, initially refused to testify. They eventually agreed to testify, resulting in a change to the “theory of defense.” The jury wisely rejected the fiction that Ingram, despite wielding a knife and kicking a prone woman as he threatened to take her life, was a warmly welcomed guest.
Ingram’s criminal record stretches back to 1999, demonstrating he is no stranger to the criminal justice system. Ingram’s 2008 conviction and three-year prison sentence for Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance is one of his most notable achievements. Lest he be type-cast as a mere drug dealer, however, Ingram is also a convicted domestic violence offender, having most recently been convicted (August 2013) of Attempted Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, in connection with violating an Order of Protection. In what can courtroom commentator described as a startling co-incidence, that Order of Protection in that case had directed Ingram to stay away from the very same woman that he had abused and attacked in this case.
DA Sedita stated: “Based upon the defendant’s contempt for the court, disrespect for the law, and disdain for women, the People will urge the court to impose the maximum sentence.” As a second felony offender, the defendant faces a maximum term of up to 15 years in state prison when he sentenced by Justice Haendiges on April 17, 2014 at 2:00 P.M.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Amy B. Benedict and Assistant District Attorney Julie Fiske, both of whom are assigned to DA Sedita’s Domestic Violence Bureau.