Yasin Abdu Sabur, 36, was arraigned Tuesday morning before Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon. On Dec. 19, 2019, the defendant was indicted by a Niagara County grand jury on one count of murder in the second degree (PL 125.23(1)) for the death of Terri Lynn Bills in the City of Niagara Falls.
On June 16, 2015, at 8:26 in the evening, the Niagara Falls Police were dispatched to a vacant house on Willow Avenue for a possible dead body. The police investigated and found the decomposing human remains of a female. The police have been actively investigating the case since that time.
Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said, “I am proud of the hard work of our Niagara Falls Police Department in helping bring this dormant case to the courthouse. We know how hard District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek works to bring justice for all concerned, and our NFPD will continue to work closely with her and her staff on this very important case.”
The defendant was serving a sentence for domestic violence in the second degree and child neglect in South Carolina and was extradited to Niagara County on Friday, Feb. 28, to face this indictment after serving nearly a year. Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division went to South Carolina to take custody of Abdu Sabur and escort him directly to the custody of the Niagara County Jail.
The defendant has two prior felony convictions for burglary in the third degree, first in 2006, and received 10 months in Erie County; another occurred in 2012 in Niagara County, and Abdu Sabur was sentenced to two to four years in state prison. He was released Nov. 1, 2013, violated parole, and was re-incarcerated until Feb. 27, 2015.
Wojtaszek said that, due to the gruesome nature of the crimes, this case was very much tied in the media to the death of Loretta Gates.
“According to our investigation, the two murders were not committed by the same person,” Wojtaszek said. “That determination helps us refocus on the murder of Loretta Gates, and please know that we are equally committed to investigating and solving that case, as well. Loretta’s family deserves justice, and we will diligently seek answers for them. We know that families in these situations are anxious for justice and some measure of closure. That is why we continue to commit the considerable resources and time to solving these cases. The violent taking of someone's life is never forgotten and forever stays in all of our hearts and minds until justice is done.”
The defendant is currently being represented by the Niagara County Public Defender’s Office. Sheldon has placed a gag order on counsel from discussing any particulars of this case, so no further comment will be forthcoming from the district attorney’s office.
Abdu Sabur is innocent unless proven guilty.