Felon Pleads Guilty to Fatally Shooting Teen in Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood

Modified: January 10, 2019 10:06am

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 41-year-old Eric Smith of Buffalo pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a Class “B” felony. 

On June 17, 2018, at approximately 8:42 p.m., the defendant fatally shot 17-year-old Leo Thagard, III following a brief argument outside a home on the 100 block of Lombard Street in the City of Buffalo.

Smith faces a maximum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. He remains remanded without bail. 

DA Flynn commends the investigative work of Detectives Dawn Lopez, Jason Mayhook and Erin McCarthy as well as retired Detective Michael Mordino of the Buffalo Police Homicide Squad. The DA also commends Buffalo Police Detective Carmen Clark of the Violent Felony Warrant Squad and Deputy US Marshal James Bona for their work in apprehending the defendant.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rachel L. Newton of the Felony Trials Bureau, James W. Mansour, II of the Narcotics Bureau and former Assistant District Attorney Michael D. Smith of the DA’s Homicide Bureau.