Buffalo man sentenced for attempted witness murder

Jul 18, 2012

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. 

Man accused of murdering his half-brother

Jul 17, 2012

A resident of the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation is accused of murdering his half-brother. 

Erie County Sheriff's detectives arrested 22-year-old Cody Testerman of Brant Reservation Road on Tuesday morning.  He is being charged with second-degree murder in North Collins court this afternoon in the death of 20-year-old Jessie Seneca. 

Seneca's body was discovered by a nearby resident Saturday afternoon on a dirt road off Route 438.  He was last seen alive last Wednesday morning, July 11.

WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

While Canada may seem very close to commuters on the Niagara Section of the Thruway, it's nowhere near as close when the legal system wants to bring someone from Canada to stand trial in the U.S.

When federal officials announced on Tuesday they had broken a cross-border scam which cost 2,000 Americans millions of dollars they said 23 of those indicted living in the Metro Toronto area would have to be extradited to stand trial.

Teens accused in North Buffalo murder arraigned

Jul 11, 2012
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Two teenage boys accused of stabbing and burning another teenager to death in North Buffalo last week were arraigned this morning on charges of second-degree murder. 

Buffalo Police Tuesday arrested 17-year-old Demetrius Huff and 16-year-old Ezeiekile Nafi.  Authorities believe the North Buffalo teens stabbed 16-year-old Darren Brown ten times and then used an accelerant to set his body on fire on a footpath near Colvin Avenue and Taunton Place. 

Brown's badly-burned body was discovered by a man walking his dog last Friday evening close to an abandoned rail line. 

Police arrest two teens in North Buffalo murder

Jul 11, 2012
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Two Buffalo teenagers have been arrested in connection with the death of 16-year-old Darren Brown.

The teen’s body was found last Friday night in a wooded area off Taunton Place near Colvin Avenue in North Buffalo.  Brown was stabbed several times and set on fire.

Mayor Byron Brown and Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda held a news conference Tuesday night at police headquarters to announce the arrests of 16-year-old Ezeiekile Nafi of East Amherst Street and 17-year-old Demetrius Huff of Jewett Parkway.               

WBFO News by Mike Desmond

Federal prosecutors are seeking to bring nearly two-dozen Canadians here for trial, as they announced a series of arrests in a cross-border computer-based scam.

At a late afternoon news conference Tuesday in Buffalo, U.S. Attorney William Hochul said the scam went right across the U.S. targeting people in need of some cash to deal with the financial crises of hard times.

"There was a request for an upfront payment," said Hochul.         

Police identify body found in North Buffalo

Jul 9, 2012
Google Map, street view photo

Buffalo Police have identified the body of the city's latest homicide victim found in a normally quiet North Buffalo neighborhood. 16-year-old Darren Brown discovered on Friday evening in a wooded area near Colvin Avenue and Taunton Place. Police sat the body had been stabbed multiple times and set on fire. Homicide detectives are trying to determine a motive for the killing. Police said the murder scene reflects that of an unsolved murder from 1998. But authorities do not believe was a random killing. Police said they believe the killer knew the victim.

Shooting wounds three on Buffalo's East side

Jul 5, 2012
Google Map

A 14-year-old boy is in serious condition after he was shot in the overnight hours on Buffalo's East Side.  Police say it happened after 1 a.m. near Purdy and East Ferry. 

Three males were shot, the 14-year old, a 16-year-old and a 20-year-old.  All three were taken to ECMC.  The 16-year-old and 20-year-old males are listed in stable condition.  The 14-year-old has been upgraded from critical to serious condition.

City shooting in broad daylight

Jun 27, 2012
Photo from Google Street View

Buffalo Homicide detectives are investigating yet another fatal shooting in the city.  

It occurred in broad daylight just after 3:20 Wednesday afternoon in the 100 block of Goemble.

Police say one man, believed to be about 20-years-old was struck multiple times.

The victim was transported to Erie County Medical Center where he later died.

Police are asking that anyone with information call the Confidential TIPCALL Line at 847-2255 or Text a Tip at (716)847-2255 or e-mail the department at

Buffalo police shooting remains under investigation

Jun 25, 2012
Google Map, street view photo

Buffalo Police are providing more details from an early Sunday morning incident in which an officer shot and injured a suspect.

The suspect, 17-year-old Wilson Morales, remains in Erie County Medical Center for treatment of wounds suffered when he was fired at by officers on French at Moselle Streets on the city's east side.

The incident occur around 2:40 a.m. Sunday.  Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said Morales was operating a vehicle without lights and at a high rate of speed. 

Mayor pleased with Strike Force progress

Jun 21, 2012
City of Buffalo

The city's new effort to crack down on crime is off to a solid start.  WBFO & AM-970's caught up with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown about the new police "Strike Force".

The mayor says he is pleased with the collaborative effort that has created a new crime fighting tool.  Buffalo Police are now teaming with 40 members of the Erie County Sheriff's Department and New York State Troopers. 

"Strike Force is going extremely well.  It's been in operation for a little over a week now," Brown said.

An Orleans County man pleaded guilty today to one count of second-degree murder in the killing of his 15-year-old sister-in-law. 

22-year-old Carlos Cardenas admitted to the crime Wednesday morning in Orleans County Court.  He was accused of raping and strangling Katherine Sanchez in January 2011.  Cardenas was arrested the following month. 

Buffalo Police identify latest homicide victim

Jun 19, 2012
Google Map, street view photo

 Buffalo Police continue to search for a suspect in a deadly shooting Sunday night on the city’s East Side. 

"25-year-old Hassan Jabbar of Buffalo was shot once, while he was on East Ferry Street, between Fillmore Avenue and Kehr Street, around 7:30 p.m.," according to Dennis J. Richards, chief of detectives.

Police say Jabbar was taken to Erie County Medical Center, but died a short time after he arrived.   

An East side Buffalo gang member who killed a 15-year-old girl in an eruption of gunfire was sentenced Monday to the maximum 25 years-to-life in prison in Erie County Court. 

Twenty-six-year-old Kevin Davis II was convicted of second-degree murder in April in the killing of Dominique Maye, a ninth grade student at Riverside Institute of Technology.

Davis used an AK-47 assault rifle to fire 19 bullets into the Hewitt Avenue home where Maye had been staying on September 30, 2010. 

Prosecutors say Maye was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire of gang violence.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

U.S. Attorney William Hochul is calling on the community to take a stand against the rise in shootings in Buffalo. 

In the past month, violence has escalated. Hochul says the number of shootings in the city of Buffalo is 48-more than last year at this same time.

WBFO & AM-970 Eileen Buckley sat down with Hochul in our studio's to discuss this latest trend on gangs, guns and drugs..

Federal law enforcement agencies are offering a $10,000 reward in connection with the firebombing of a home in Buffalo last year.

The FBI's Special Agent in Charge Christopher Piehota said a duplex on Mackinaw Street in the Old First Ward had to be demolished after it was damaged by a second arson in May of last year. 

One firefighter was hurt at the scene.  But the victim, a refugee, was not injured. 

Piehota said evidence indicates it may be a hate crime  and investigators need the public's help. 

WBFO News by Mike Desmond

Buffalo police are probing a double stabbing  that occurred late Thursday afternoon near the Erie Canal Harbor Metro Rail Station which has sent to two victims to the hospital.

The attack occurred just as crowds were assembling for the first big music concert of the summer on the downtown waterfront in the 100 block on of Main Street around 3:30 p.m. 

Police have detained one individual in connection with the stabbing.   

The victims were a male and female.  Both were taken to ECMC. It appears the injuries to the female are serious.

City of Buffalo

A Buffalo man is behind bars, charged with possessing and selling firearms. 

Twenty-three-year-old Kareem "Decatur" Howard faces numerous felony gun counts for his allegedly selling the weapons in the Riverside section of the city near the Kenmore line.  Nine guns were seized. 

Howard is charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal sale of a firearm. He also faces possible federal charges.

Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says the suspect allegedly transported the weapons from the Decatur, Georgia area.

Former Erie County Legislator David Dale, a disbarred lawyer from Lancaster, faces possible jail time after pleading guilty to a fraud charge.  

Dale, 49, went before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns Tuesday and pled to one charge of first-degree felony scheme to defraud and one count of practice of law by an attorney who has been disbarred.

A man who struck and killed a 14-year-old boy on his bicycle has pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicular manslaughter.  Michael Ettipio had a BAC three times the legal limit when he struck and killed Bryce Buchholz.

A 24-year-old driver who struck and killed a 14-year-old Bryce Bucholz on his bicycle in Lancaster earlier this month pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicular manslaughter in State Supreme Court Thursday.

Chris Caya/WBFO

The Buffalo Police Department has fired one of its own after an arrest this morning by federal law enforcement officials. 

U.S. Attorney William Hochul said former police officer Jorge Melendez, 41, is charged with running a drug manufacturing business out of two warehouses in South Buffalo. Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI arrested Melendez at Police Headquarters. 

WBFO News by Mike Desmond

An Erie County Court  jury has found Dr. James Corasanti not guilty on all of the major charges against him in the death of 18-year-old Alexandria Rice.

Jurors returned to the courtroom just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to issue their verdict.

The jury acquitted the 56-year-old Corasanti on second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, resulting death, and tampering with physical evidence.  

Cocaine bust nets 24 arrests

May 30, 2012

A state investigation has yielded two-dozen arrests in connection with two cocaine trafficking operations based in South Buffalo. 

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says 24 individuals have been arrested on narcotics trafficking charges in an investigation dubbed "Operation Babcock."  Babcock the South Buffalo neighborhood in which much of the activity was based. 

Pool photo

Jury deliberations will resume at 9:30 Wednesday morning in the trial of Dr. James Corasanti of Amherst.

WBFO News photo by Mark Leitner

Why were three Erie County Holding Center inmates mistakenly released over the past few months?  Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard went before the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee Tuesday to try to explain. 

In the latest incident a couple of weeks ago, a suspected car thief, Paris Williams, was freed from the Holding Center when another man whose last name is also Williams should have been released.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Former Common Council member Brian Davis pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing $48,000 dollars in federal funds from the City of Buffalo. 

Davis  admitted the crime as part of a plea deal involving his cooperation with investigations at City Hall. 

"Today's developments mark one of the first times, in recent memory, that an elected official has been convicted of actually stealing money in his care," said U.S. Attorney William Hochul.

Lawyers ask for reduced charges against Corasanti

May 24, 2012
Pool photo

Defense attorneys in the Dr. James Corasanti trial Thursday asked for reductions on two of the three counts to less serious charges.

Attorneys for both the prosecution and defense in the Dr. James Corasanti vehicular manslaughter trial met with Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio Thursday to discuss the charges against Corasanti.

WBFO News file photo

 The Erie County Holding Center has a new way for making bail payments.  The County Sheriff's Office has implemented a cash bail payment system that can be accessed on-line or by phone.

Streamlining the payment process for families and inmates in posting bail has gone high-tech at the Holding Center.

"It opens another opportunity for someone to make bail," said Robert Koch , Superintendent of the Office of Jail Management Division for the Erie County Holding Center.

A convicted purveyor of child pornography has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.  

Twenty-five-year-old Timothy Michael Bek, formerly a teacher at West Seneca West High School, learned his fate today from U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara.  

Prosecutors say more than 13, 500 pictures of child pornography were found stored on Timothy Bek's personal computer.  U.S. Attorney William Hochul says many of the pornographic pictures captured on Bek's personal computer were of a very disturbing nature.

A Carrier Coach bus aide has been arrested by state police and charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault in connection with an alleged attack of a 15-year-old autistic boy.

The suspect is identified as 28 year old D'Andre Robinson of Cheektowaga.

The Buffalo News reports that the incident took place last Friday, May 18, while the bus was transporting students to the Baker Victory School in Lackawanna.

The unidentified boy suffered facial injuries.