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Buffalo man receives maximum sentence in homicide case, pleads guilty for possession of fentanyl in separate crime


Thu, Apr 13th 2023 08:00 pm

Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced 33-year-old Cortez Foster of Buffalo was sentenced this morning before Erie County Court Judge Suzanne Maxwell Barnes to 40 years to life in prison. He was sentenced today as a second felony offender.

On March 14, 2021, at approximately 4:31 a.m., the defendant approached the victim who was sitting inside of a vehicle parked on the 200 block of Johnson Street in the City of Buffalo. The defendant intentionally fired multiple shots at the victim with an illegal gun. The victim, 29-year-old Marcus Spain, was taken by ambulance to ECMC where he later died from the injuries.

On Feb. 16, 2023, a jury found Foster guilty of one count of murder in the second degree (class “A-I” felony) and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (class “C” violent felony). Jurors rendered their decision after approximately 2½ hours of deliberation following a five-day trial, convicting the defendant of all charges in the indictment against him.

Foster also pleaded guilty this morning before Judge Maxwell Barnes to one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (class “B” felony), and one count of resisting arrest (class “A” misdemeanor) in a separate criminal case. He pleaded guilty to all charges in the indictment against him.

On Jan. 7, 2020, at approximately 6:34 p.m., Buffalo Police officers initiated a traffic stop on William Street and Monroe Street after witnessing the defendant fail to stop his vehicle at a stop sign. While speaking with the defendant, the officers smelled the odor of marijuana and saw a small amount of loose marijuana in the backseat, which prompted a search of the vehicle. The defendant was placed in the backseat of the patrol vehicle during the search.

Officers found a bag containing over ½ ounce of fentanyl inside of the glovebox. When the officers returned to their patrol vehicle to place the defendant under arrest, the defendant attempted to escape. The defendant refused orders and fought with the police officers, but the officers were able to subdue the defendant and take him into custody for possession of narcotics.

Foster faces a maximum of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Friday, May 12. He remains held without bail.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department for its work in both investigations.

The homicide case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Eugene T. Partridge III of the homicide unit, and Assistant District Attorney Timothy J. Garvin of the narcotics/intelligence unit. The drug case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Timothy J. Garvin and Chief Justin T. Wallens of the felony trials bureau.

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