Appellate Court Affirms Results In Two High-Profile Cases

Modified: May 8, 2017 10:49am

5/2/2017

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court, Fourth Department has upheld the results in two high-profile cases. 

The justices unanimously affirmed the conviction in the case against Paul Blarr, an Amherst man who admitted selling counterfeit jewelry, including fake diamonds over a 16-year period. Blarr was sentenced 23-69 years in prison by Erie County Court Judge Michael Pietruszka in 2015, and the justices unanimously upheld the sentence. Blarr, who is serving his sentence at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, won’t be eligible for release until January 9, 2025. 

Assistant District Attorney Brian P. Dassero of the DA’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Bureau prosecuted the Blarr case and the appeal was handled by Julie Bender Fiske of the DA’s Appeals Bureau. 

The justices also unanimously affirmed the conviction of Candace Cartagena, who was found guilty of murdering her 8-year-old daughter in 2014. Cartagena claimed the suffocation of the child was an accident, but the trial court found and the Fourth Department agreed there was sufficient evidence to prove that she deliberately suffocated her daughter in November of 2010. She is serving a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison for the crime. 

Assistant District Attorney Daniel J. Punch of the DA’s Appeals Bureau handled the appeal.