Mohamud convicted of murdering stepson

Oct 18, 2012
Pool photo by The Buffalo News

A jury this afternoon convicted the Buffalo man who has been standing trial for the beating death of his 10-year-old stepson.

Jurors took less than three hours to find 41-year-old Ali-Mohamad Mohamud guilty of second-degree murder, after closing arguments were presented this morning. 

Pool photo provided by The Buffalo News

Both the prosecution and the defense have rested in the Ali-Mohamed Mohamud murder trial in State Supreme Court.  Closing arguments are scheduled to take place Thursday morning.

Mohamud, who admitted to police that he beat his 10-year-old stepson Abdifatah to death last April with a wooden rolling pin in the basement of their Guilford Street home, was not called to the stand, and no witnesses were called by the defense.

Jurors in Mohamud trial shown police video

Oct 16, 2012
Pool photo provided by The Buffalo News

Jurors in the trial of the Buffalo man accused of killing his 10-year-old stepson today watched a graphic police video of the murder scene. 

Ali-Mohamad Mohamud is facing a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Abdifatah Mohamud.  Testimony began Monday when the boy's mother and stepbrother took the stand, following opening statements. 

Prosecutors say Mohamud stabbed, suffocated, and beat the boy repeatedly with a wooden rolling pin last April in their Guilford Street home.  He allegedly confessed his crime to Buffalo Police.

Trial begins for man accused of killing stepson

Oct 15, 2012
Pool photo provided by The Buffalo News

The murder trial of a Buffalo man accused of fatally beating his 10-year-old stepson in April has begun in State Supreme Court. 

Prosecuters says Ali-Mohamed Mohamud tied up Abdifatah Mohamud in the basement of their Guilford Street home, stuffed a sock into his mouth and covered it with duct tape, and then beat the boy about 70 times with a wooden rolling pin. 

The fifth-grader suffered a fractured skull, broken ribs, and dozens of bodily injuries. 

Police find live grenade, neighbors evacuated in Leroy

Oct 8, 2012

Some residents in the Village of Leroy were evacuated for about an hour today after police found a homemade grenade and a gun in the trunk of a car pulled over for speeding. 

A police officer who made the stop around 7:30 a.m. opened the trunk after seeing ammunition in the car.  Homes within 200 feet were evacuated.  A state police bomb technician determined the grenade was explosive.  The grenade and a long gun were removed. 

Police say the driver lives in Buffalo and told police he was on his way to visit his girlfriend in Rochester.  His name hasn't been released. 

WBFO News file photo

An inmate being held in the Erie County Holding Center in downtown Buffalo has died from injuries suffered in a fight with another inmate.  

19-year old Tyshawn Ball of Buffalo has been charged with second degree murder for the beating death of an inmate at Holding Center.   

Acting jail superintendent Thomas Diina said the fight between Ball and 49-year old Patrick Yale occurred in June.  Yale was treated at ECMC and died at the end of August.

Tackling graffiti on city's West Side

Oct 5, 2012
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Over the last several years, the city has worked hard to tackle graffiti and other tagging. 

Mayor Byron Brown appeared at an area off Niagara Street Thursday as Americorp volunteers helped to remove the latest batch of graffiti.   

The back side of some buildings along Niagara Street  is visible from the 190.  That was the latest section of the city to be tagged with big chunky lettering in several colors.  

The Mayor announced that the city is partnering a stretch of Niagara Street businesses between the 198 and the Peace Bridge in the clean up effort.  

Clymer murder suspect refuses to waive extradition

Oct 1, 2012

The Virginia man accused of killing Clymer schools superintendent Keith Reed Jr. is fighting extradition to western New York.

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace says it could be a month or more before Anthony Robert Taglianetti II is turned over to New York authorities, after he refused to waive his right to an extradition hearing from Prince William County, Virginia.

Reed was shot to death ten days ago outside his Clymer home. Taglianetti was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Virginia last Friday after being located in a wooded area.

Suspect in Clymer shooting arrested in Virginia

Sep 28, 2012

Authorities in Virginia have apprehended the suspect in last weekend's killing of Clymer Schools Superintendent Keith Reed.

Forty-two-year-old Anthony Robert Taglianetti was taken into custody without incident Friday afternoon at Shenandoah Valley National Park in Virginia. Police were patrolling areas where the suspect was thought to be in when they spotted his moving vehicle. Taglianetti was then stopped and arrested.

Reed was found dead outside his home Monday morning.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is searching for a Virginia man in connection with the homicide of the Clymer Schools superintendent. 

Chautuaqua County Sheriff Deputy Joseph Gerace and District attorney David Foley held news conference Thursday afternoon to announce that 42-year-old Anthony Robert Taglianetti II is wanted for questioning.

"We have evidence to put the suspect in Chautauqua County the night of the homicide which we believe would have been Friday night," said Sheriff Gerace.

Omar Fetouh/WBFO News

Federal and local authorities say they have cracked a cold case murder that took place in Orchard Park three years ago. 

Angela Moss, a 39-year-old nurse from Amherst, was shot to death on California Road on August 27, 2009.  A federal grand jury has returned a seven-count indictment alleging that Moss's fiance, 44-year-old Ronald Epps, killed her in a scheme to collect on her life insurance policy. 

In July of that year, Epps convinced Moss to make a change to her $100,000 policy that would make him the sole beneficiary. 

Photo provided by NYS Police

State Police arrested a Kenmore man for driving with steroids and drug paraphernalia in his vehicle. 

23-year-old Michael Vazquez was pulled over for speeding on the 290-in the Town of Tonawanda. State Police say  he was traveling 81-miles-per-hour in a 55-mile-an-hour speed zone. 

A search of his vehicle found a number of hypodermic needles and three glass vials of sterile testosterone.  Vazquez has been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and speeding. 

Victim's best friend charged in city homicide

Sep 26, 2012
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A 22-year-old Buffalo man has been arrested and charged with the murder of his best friend.  23-year-old Jeremy Lott was shot to death in a double shooting early Sunday on Fillmore Avenue. 

John Carney has been charged with second-degree murder and assault.

26-year-old Lareecea Love of Buffalo was also shot, but was treated and released from ECMC.  Love was standing with Lott outside, smoking a cigarette, when Lott's friend Carney approached them.

"This reinforces our message to young people to put the guns down," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Four University at Buffalo students have been arrested on felony drug charges in the city's University Heights neighborhood. 

Police seized more than a half-ounce cocaine, eight ounces of ecstasy and other pills, nine pounds of marijuana, along with $64,000 in cash Friday night.

Police Commissioner Derenda says an illegally parked car on West Northrup Place in the University District led to the arrests after the drugs were on display in plain view of officers.

Clymer superintendent found dead in apparent homicide

Sep 25, 2012
Photo from Clymer Central School District website

The superintendent of the Clymer School District in Chautauqua County has been found dead outside of his home, the victim of an apparent homicide. 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies discovered 51-year-old Keith Reed at his residence on Clymer-Sherman Road with gunshot wounds this morning.  Reed lived alone and hadn't been heard from him since Friday night. 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace says Reed was reported missing by friends Sunday night.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Complaints and tips by city residents about drug dealing led to more than 60 arrests throughout the City of Buffalo this week.

Several law enforcement agencies from across the area teamed up with Buffalo Police in executing 103 search warrants in three days as part of Operation Power Sweep. Starting last Friday, it was the city's fourth series of drug raids this year.

Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards says the Buffalo Police Department relies on the public for information and help from other law enforcement agencies in cracking down on illegal activity

Falls man sentenced for killing Niagara student

Sep 19, 2012

A Niagara Falls man was sentenced Wednesday for the shooting death of a Niagara University student last December.

Eighteen-year-old Gordon Jackson faces 21 years-to-life in state prison. The victim, Brandon Johnson of Rochester, was shot in the head with a shotgun during a robbery attempt at his apartment close to the Niagara campus on December 8, 2011.

Through a plea deal, a trial was avoided and Jackson's sentence was reduced from a possible 40 years-to-life.

Lancaster man sentenced for fatal hit-and-run

Sep 13, 2012

A Lancaster man has been sentenced to one-to-three years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a 14-year-old bicyclist.

State Supreme Court Justice John Michalski issued the sentence to 24-year-old Michael Ettipio, who had earlier pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter charges in connection with the death of Bryce Buchholz.

Ettipio was found to be three times over the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers when his vehicle struck and killed Buchholz on May 3rd.

WBFO News file photo

For the second time this week, a City of Buffalo worker has pleaded guilty to the theft of parking meters.  57-year-old James Bagarozzo appeared before U.S. Judge Richard Arcara late Thursday  morning in Federal Court. 

Bagarozzo admitted to stealing $210,000 in coins from the meters.  He has agreed to pay full restitution.

"At any level of government, public servants owe a duty of integrity and honesty to the taxpayers they serve," said U.S. Attorney Hochul. "This office will continue to prosecute  any who breach that duty."

City employee pleads guilty to parking meter thefts

Sep 4, 2012
WBFO News file photo

A city worker admitted to stealing thousands of dollars worth of quarters from parking meters. 

40-year-old Lawrence Charles of Buffalo appeared in Federal Court Tuesaday to plead guilty to the theft of $15,000 between 2007 and 2011. 

Several months ago Charles and co-worker James Bagarozzo were charged with the parking meter thefts. 

"This kind of conduct simply won't be tolerated," said U.S. Attorney William Hochul.

Charles was responsible for repairing broken city parking meters.  But Hochul said he would "systematically" steal quarters during his shift.

The Niagara County Coroner released results of an autopsy Tuesday revealing the cause of death of 5-year-old Isabella Sarah Tennant.  

Niagara County Coroner Cindy-Lou Joyce tells WBFO & AM-970 News Tennant died from "asphyxiation due to mechanical obstruction of the airway and compression of the neck."

Two teenage boys,  16-year-0ld John Freeman and 18-year-old Tyler Best, appeared in Niagara Falls City Court Tuesday morning for an arraignment on charges related to the death of Tennant.

Both entered not guilty pleas.

Man sentenced for killing teenage sister-in-law

Aug 27, 2012

An Orleans County judge today handed down a sentence of 25 years-to-life in prison to a man who admitted to killing his teenage sister-in-law. 

Carlos Cardenas, 22, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder earlier this summer in the January 15, 2011 strangulation death of 15-year-old Katherine Sanchez.  The plea came shortly before he was due to stand trial on rape and murder charges.

The samurai-sword wielding robber of a North Buffalo gas station/convenience store remains at large.  Mayor Byron Brown says the investigation of the armed hold-up at Hertel and Colvin avenues early Tuesday is continuing. 

Also, Brown says Homicide Detectives are still looking for a suspect in a deadly shooting near the Entertainment District.  Police say 27-year-old James Henley died early Sunday after being shot in a parking lot near South Elmwood and Johnson Parkway. 

Man with sword robs Buffalo gas station

Aug 21, 2012

A man used a sword to rob a North Buffalo gas station early this morning, engaging in two altercations as attempted to flee on foot. 

The incident happened at a Sunoco/A Plus station at Hertel and Colvin avenues around 3 a.m.  The robber held a sword to a clerk's throat and demanded cash. 

As he fled the store, he encountered a man in the parking lot who attempted to stop him.  The robber then struck that man in the head with the sword.  The store clerk then came out with a baseball bat and hit the robber in the shoulder before he fled. 

Wrong-way driver sentenced for double-fatal crash

Aug 13, 2012
Google Map, street view photo

Matthew Ruckdaschel of Getzville has been sentenced to prison for a wrong-way crash on the Kensington Expressway that claimed two lives.

Erie County Court Judge Michael Pietruszka sentenced Ruckdaschel to three-and-a-half to ten-and-a-half years in prison Monday morning.

Family members of the victims were visibly upset at the emotional sentencing.

Ruckdaschel was facing  up to 25 years in prison after admitting he was drunk, speeding and driving the wrong way when he crashed his pickup into an SUV and caused the death of its two occupants.  

WBFO News file photo

A local doctor has been arrested for allegedly writing prescriptions in exchange for toilet paper and other goods. 

Dr. Matthew Bennett of Clarence was charged with unlawful distribution of controlled substances after a year-long undercover investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Police mug shot

A convicted sex offender who was involved in an "incident" with his parole officer in Buffalo Thurday morning was found dead after committing suicide at the Langfield Housing Projects on the city's East Side. 

Officials had launched a manhunt for 28-year-old Demone Frasier, who had served time in prison on a rape conviction.  Following the altercation with the parole officer, Frazier escaped, with a gun, in the officer's vehicle. 

Frazier later abandoned the vehicle.  The parole officer, who was making a residence check on Frazier, was not injured. 

Google Map, street view photo

Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said a fatal police shooting in the City's Riverside neighborhood is "a tragedy for all involved" 

Derenda said  four-year-old Roderick Geiger died as a result of stabbing. And the suspect - the boy's grandmother - 38-year-old Charlene Fears was shot and killed inside 195 Esser Avenue. 

Commissioner Derenda said the initial investigation indicates officers "were justified in using deadly physical force."

Photo from Google Street view

A four-year old Riverside boy died from stab wounds at Women & Children’s Hospital Wednesday night and his grandmother was shot dead..

Two officers on routine patrol were flagged down around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday in front of a home at 193 & 195 Esser Avenue, a double home with a common front porch area.   

At the same time, a 911 received a call that a child had been assaulted.

Police shot and killed 38-year-old Charlene Fears as she lunged towards them after they repeatedly told her to drop two knives she was armed with.

20 charged in suspected Buffalo drug ring

Jul 25, 2012

A federal grand jury has returned indictments against 20 individuals involved in a Houston-to-Buffalo drug operations that allegedly brought several kilos of cocaine to Buffalo's streets.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says a Houston man, 50-year-old Earl Brown, Sr., supplied narcotics to 30-year-old Franklin Richards, who then distributed them to the notoriously violent L.R.G.P. street gang. The gang's members sold the drug, in both powder and crack cocaine form, in Buffalo's Broadway/Fillmore neighborhood.