Predicate Felon Prosecuted to the Fullest Extent of the Law and Convicted as Charged in Record Time

Modified: January 6, 2016 10:32am

10/6/2015

First Assistant Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 32 year-old Calvin J. Withrow, Jr. of 693 Hopkins Street in the City of Buffalo has been found guilty, as charged, of Robbery in the Second Degree after a week-long jury trial before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio. 

At around 4:25 a.m. on August 2, 2014, the victim, a full-time college student, was walking home from her overnight job and had arrived at the front steps of her residence.  As she ascended the stairs, Withrow wrapped his arm around the victim’s neck, pulled her off the steps, demanded money and attempted to forcibly steal her purse. The victim grabbed a box cutter from her purse and slashed at Withrow’s hands, cutting him.  Undeterred, Withrow knocked her to the ground and repeatedly punched the victim as he continued to pull on her purse, fracturing her cheek.

Withrow finally seized the purse but did not stop; instead, he tore the victim’s pants open.  Fortunately, several neighbors heard the victim’s screams for help and ran to her defense, heroically thwarting a sexual assault.

Although he did not testify, Withrow’s attorney argued that Withrow was the true victim, as he merely beat the victim in self-defense and did not intend to rob her. The jury promptly dismissed this ludicrous claim, as evinced by their 23 minutes of deliberations.

No stranger to the criminal justice system, Withrow boasts five previous criminal convictions, including one in 2009 for Attempted Robbery in the First Degree. What is more, Withrow is not only a predicate violent felon but was also on parole when he committed his most recent crime. 

Withrow was remanded into custody and faces a maximum prison term of 15 years on his conviction when sentenced on November 23, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. by Judge DiTullio.  He also owes three years to the New York State Division of Parole for a 2009 attempted robbery conviction.

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Seth Molisani, who is assigned to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office Felony Trial Bureau. First Assistant DA Flaherty added: “This case once again demonstrates how violent felony offenders are successfully prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law by the Office of the Erie County District Attorney.”