Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III announces the convictions of three more defendants for illegally possessing loaded handguns.
23 year-old David Williams of Colvin Avenue in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio. This is the highest charge for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, Williams was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
On March 20, 2013, NY State Parole Officers Keil Milbrandt, Sean McPartland, Chris Mack, and Amy Cammisky, acting upon information that the defendant was carrying a concealed weapon, encountered Williams while he was attending a substance abuse treatment orientation program. Williams told the officers, after they found him in possession of a loaded pistol “I would rather be caught with it than without it.” No stranger to law enforcement, Williams was previously convicted of Attempted Robbery in the First Degree, a violent felony. Consequently, Williams is a Second Violent Felony Offender and faces a minimum of 7 years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on June 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm by Judge DiTullio.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Liam A. Dwyer and Kristi M. Ahlstrom, who are assigned to DA Sedita’s Special Victims and Felony Trial Bureaus, respectively.
26 year-old Christopher L. Walters of Woltz Street in the City of Buffalo, also pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before State Supreme Court Judge Penny Wolfgang. This is the highest charge for which Walters could have been convicted had he gone to trial. Walters was also prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
On May 16, 2013, Walters was observed boarding an NFTA bus by two civilians whom he had previously victimized. NFTA officers promptly stopped the bus, boarded it, and seized an unlicensed and fully loaded .32 caliber revolver from Walters. Another familiar actor in the daily melodrama known as the criminal justice system, Walters’ was on parole for an Attempted Robbery in the 1st Degree conviction when he was arrested. Accordingly, Walters is a second violent felony offender and faces a minimum of 7 years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on May 29, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. by Justice Wolfgang.
The case was successfully prosecuted by ADA Lauren Nash who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.
21 year-old Anthony Taylor, Jr., of the City of Buffalo also pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana before Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio. These are the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial, which was scheduled to commence on May 19, 2014. Taylor too was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
On December 19, 2012, Buffalo Police officers found Taylor in possession marijuana and an unregistered .25 caliber Raven Arms automatic pistol, loaded with six bullets. In November of 2013, Taylor elected to take his case to trial instead of pleading guilty. At that trial, Taylor attempted to manufacture a defense of temporary and innocent possession. Specifically, Taylor’s Aunt claimed that Taylor merely “found” the loaded pistol and was intending to turn it into a clergyman when he was unfortuitously arrested by the police. Taylor’s canard was at least partially successful as evinced by the resulting mistrial (the jury was deadlocked 10-2 in favor to convict).
The District Attorney’s office subsequently located the clergyman and secured an affidavit from him which debunked Taylor’s story. Indeed, the clergyman denied he that knew Taylor and that Taylor’s Aunt (after the mistrial) asked him to go along with their intended fraud upon the court. He refused. Undeterred in his efforts to again bamboozle the court, Taylor attempted to pass a letter to a fellow inmate (which was intercepted), which contained a detailed script for another fallacious defense.
Taylor faces a minimum of 3½ years and a maximum 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced by Judge DiTullio on June 9, 2014 at 9:30a.m. Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Jurusik, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Financial Crimes Bureau, successfully prosecuted the case.
The above convictions of David Williams, Christopher Walters, and Anthony Taylor are in addition to the recent convictions of Maurice Brown, Andre Vernon, Lance Parker, and Antonio Hunter (see April 23, 2014 press release) as well as the convictions of Tyree Sommerville and James Rosado (see April 30, 2014 press release) for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree, as charged.
DA Sedita stated: “When we are presented with a viable Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree case, which usually involves the unlicensed possession of a loaded pistol or revolver, we rarely offer a plea to a reduced offense or a so-called ‘plea bargain.’ The result of this no plea policy is the mandatory incarceration (notwithstanding those granted Youthful Offender treatment by the court) of the offender for at least 3½ years and up to 15 years. Such a policy, since implemented under this administration, has taken hundreds of gun-toting thugs off the streets of our community.”