DA Flynn Consents to Vacate 1991 Murder Conviction

Modified: September 21, 2018 9:02am

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Valentino Dixon freedErie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that in the interest of justice, he has consented to an order to vacate the murder, attempted murder and assault convictions against 48-year-old Valentino Dixon of Buffalo.

DA Flynn says because of newly-discovered evidence, there is no longer proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Dixon committed the shooting.

Dixon was sentenced to 33 1/3 years to life in prison for the murder of 17-year-old Torriano Jackson, the attempted murder of his brother Aaron Jackson and the shooting of bystander John Sullivan who were shot on August 10, 1991 near a Louie’s Hot Dogs restaurant on the corner of Bailey and East Delavan Avenues in the City of Buffalo.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office conducted an investigation into the case after Mr. Dixon’s attorney filed a 440 motion to have his client exonerated.

Over the past 3 months, Assistant District Attorneys assigned to the case conducted an extensive review, which included interviewing numerous witnesses and reviewing other materials in the case against Dixon.

Lamarr Scott, who confessed to the crime hours after the homicide in 1991, pleaded guilty this morning before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree, one count of Assault in the First Degree and one count of Reckless Assault in the Third Degree.

Scott, who is currently serving a 25 to 50 year sentence in an unrelated crime, faces a maximum of 25 years when he is sentenced on Wednesday, October 24 at 9:30 a.m.

The conviction of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree will remain because Dixon admitted to bringing the murder weapon to the scene where Lamarr Scott subsequently used the gun to commit the shooting.

“After reviewing this case, it became clear to me that Mr. Dixon should no longer continue serving a sentence for a crime he did not commit,” said DA Flynn.

Dixon, who had been jailed since August 10, 1991, served more than 27 years in prison before being freed this afternoon.

DA Flynn commends Assistant District Attorney Sara N. Dee, Conviction Integrity Officer for the DA’s Special Project/Training Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney David A. Heraty of the DA’s Appeals Bureau who handled the motion to vacate the conviction as well as the investigative work of Joe Riga, Senior Chief Investigator for the DA’s Office.