Acting State Supreme Court Justice Russell Buscaglia says Antonio Martin-Brown was guilty of murder in the brutal stabbing death last year of Kenmore bar owner Vincent Cottone.
Cottone, who owned Malone’s Bar and Grill, was killed in his Landers Road home on May 19, 2013. He was sliced in the neck and beaten repeatedly on his head.
Martin-Brown's defense attorney Andrew LoTempio says the facts of the case show this should have been a manslaughter verdict rather than second degree murder. He says the then-19-year-old Martin-Brown and the 62-year old Cottone had a secret sexual relationship and Martin-Brown eventually turned himself in.
Testimony showed the two men had a sexual relationship and it broke up over Martin-Brown stealing a check and cashing it. Defense lawyer Andrew LoTempio agreed on the brutality of the killing but says it should have been ruled extreme emotional distress and manslaughter.
"Nobody asks for what happened to Mr. Cottone," said LoTempio. "But there's a statue that covers this kind of behavior and this particular type of background."
When he is sentenced December 4, Martin-Brown, now 21, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. The case was tried without a jury. LoTempio says the conviction will be appealed.
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III is out of town and could not comment on the case.