Cheektowaga Man Pleads Guilty In Fatal Beating

Modified: December 7, 2016 1:21pm

12/6/2016

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 21-year-old Cody Jeffords of Cheektowaga has pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio. 

On May 25, 2016, the defendant severely beat 19-year-old Justin Vanderwalker of Cheektowaga after coming home and finding Vanderwalker with his girlfriend. The victim initially fled the apartment, but the defendant followed Vanderwalker outside and began striking him with his bare hands.  Vanderwalker died three days later of the injuries he received in the fight. 

Jeffords faces between 19-25 years in prison when he is sentenced by Judge DiTullio on February 1, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. 

Acting DA Flaherty commends the investigative work of the Cheektowaga Police Department, including Lt. Thomas Wentland, and Detectives Eric Broska and David Mossman. 

Assistant District Attorneys John Patrick Feroleto and Danielle E. Smith are prosecuting the case.