Erid County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 23 year-old Nikole L. Ward pleaded guilty to Attempted Bribing of a Witness before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case. Ward was represented by Michael A. D’Amico, Esq.
Ward admitted that she offered $1000.00 to prevent a prosecution witness from testifying against Andrew Spears (also represented by Michael A. D’Amico, Esq.) and Lonnie Spears (represented by Daniel J. DuBois, Esq.). The defendants were on trial in connection with an indictment charging them with a gunpoint home invasion. The prosecution witness immediately reported the bribery attempt to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and testified at the trial, which resulted in the conviction of Andrew Spears for Robbery in the 1st Degree (a violent felony) and the conviction of Lonnie Spears for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree (also a violent felony).
Andrew Spears, who was previously convicted of Attempted Arson in the 3rd Degree in 2007, has yet to be sentenced as he is challenging his status as a second violent felony offender before Justice Burns. Lonnie Spears, who was previously convicted of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree in 2007, was sentenced to 12 years in state prison as a second violent felony offender by Justice Burns.
District Attorney Sedita applauded the courage of the prosecution witness, adding, “crimes like witness bribery and witness intimidation are an attack upon the integrity of the criminal justice system and must be dealt with in a firm and resolute manner. I trust that our local judiciary agrees with this sentiment and sentences such felons accordingly.”
Ward faces up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison when she is sentenced on April 1, 2013 before Judge Case.