Modified: January 14, 2022 12:22pm
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 25-year-old Nateonna J. Roland of Buffalo was sentenced this morning before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller to a determinate sentence of 10 years in prison followed by 5 years of post-release supervision.
On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at approximately 11:30 a.m., the defendant stabbed her boyfriend with a knife during an argument outside of their residence on East Eagle Street in the City of Buffalo. The victim, 21-year-old Brendan T. Benjamin, was taken to Buffalo General Medical Center in a private vehicle where he died from a single stab wound to the chest.
Roland pleaded guilty to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree (Class “B” violent felony), the only charge in the indictment against her. She pleaded guilty on February 10, 2020, the day jury selection was scheduled to begin in her trial.
After the defendant entered the guilty plea, her defense counsel filed a Penal Law 60.12 motion with the Court, arguing that the defendant was the victim of domestic violence and that the abuse was a significant contributing factor to her criminal behavior. This was the first 60.12 motion litigated by our office since the passage of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act.
Prosecutors submitted written statements to the Court from numerous witnesses, stating that the defendant should not be granted a reduced sentence under Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act. The witnesses cited numerous incidents where the defendant was the abuser and the aggressor in her relationship with the deceased and other individuals. Today, Justice Boller denied the motion by the defense.
Roland also has a pending criminal case for allegedly assaulting a jail deputy while she was incarcerated at the Erie County Holding Center. It is alleged that on January 24, 2021, at approximately 10:55 p.m., the defendant was combative with deputies while being moved from one area of the facility to another. As she was being escorted by a female deputy, the defendant allegedly used physical force by dropping her body to the floor, causing a shoulder injury to the deputy.
Roland was arraigned on an indictment charging her with one count of Assault in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony) on June 17, 2021. She is scheduled to return before Justice Boller on Monday, March 14, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. She continues to remain held in custody.
DA Flynn commends Detective John Paradowski of the Buffalo Police Department for his work in the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Chief Rachel L. Newton and Assistant District Attorney Briana R. D. Miller of the Felony Trials Bureau.