Defendant Sentenced for Recklessly Causing the Death of Victim While Unloading Rifle Inside His Buffalo Home

Modified: October 4, 2021 12:19pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 33-year-old Luis E. Gonzalez of Buffalo was sentenced by Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case as a second felony offender on Friday, October 1, 2021.

During the late evening hours of June 21, 2020, the defendant, while unloading a lever action rifle, recklessly caused the death of 31-year-old Miguel Cordova by shooting the victim in the head. The incident occurred inside the defendant’s bedroom at his home on Debra Lane in the City of Buffalo. The victim died at the scene.

A jury found Gonzalez guilty of one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “C” felony) and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor). The defendant was found guilty on all counts in the indictment against him. The jury rendered their verdict after approximately one hour of deliberations following a three-day trial on August 24, 2021.

Judge Case sentenced the defendant to an indeterminate sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison on the charge of Manslaughter in the Second Degree as a second felony offender. He was sentenced to one year of imprisonment on the charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, which will run concurrent to his sentence on the Manslaughter charge.

Judge Case also sentenced the defendant to serve a determinate sentence of 2 years in prison for a probation violation, which will run consecutive to his sentence on the Manslaughter charge.

DA Flynn commends Detectives Thomas Starkey, Scott Malec and Mark White of the Buffalo Police Department for their work in the investigation.  

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Cathleen M. Roemer of the Special Victims/Domestic Violence Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Denise A. Herman of the Justice Courts Bureau.