A State Supreme Court justice this morning handed down a sentence of 40 years-to-life in prison to 21-year-old James Blair, a Buffalo man convicted of attempting to kill a witness scheduled to testify against him.
A jury found Blair guilty of attempted murder last month in the stabbing of 51-year-old Colleen Murray of Buffalo. Murray suffered 54 broken facial bones in the July 2011 attack, requiring dozens of screws and plates to be implanted in her skull.
The attack occurred just hours before Murray was set to testify against Blair relating to a burglary at her home.
Blair did not speak at today's sentencing but Murray did, tearfully telling of repeated nightmares before expressing forgiveness toward the convict.
Blair's lawyer says his client is innocent, suggesting that an accomplice in the original burglary committed the attack.