Modified: June 7, 2017 10:41am
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 46-year-old Hillard Smith of Buffalo has been arraigned by State Supreme Court Justice William Boller on an indictment charging him with Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the Second Degree, Burglary in the First Degree, Assault in the Third Degree, two counts of Menacing in the Second Degree, two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree and two counts of Criminal Contempt in the First Degree.
It is alleged that on April 12, 2017 at 518 North Division Street, the defendant broke into his former girlfriend’s home and attacked her boyfriend, 42 year-old Justin Johnson of Buffalo, with a knife. Johnson was transported to ECMC where he died of his injuries five days later.
Smith pleaded not guilty and was remanded to jail without bail. He faces a possible sentence of life without the possibility of parole if convicted of all the charges.
DA Flynn commends Buffalo Police Homicide Detectives Brendan Keifer, Patricia Wrest, James Kaska and Carl Lundin.
Assistant District Attorneys John Patrick Feroleto and Stephen Earnhart are prosecuting the case.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.