Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced 44-year-old Demario Baines of Buffalo pleaded guilty yesterday morning before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case to one count of kidnapping in the second degree (class “B” violent felony). The defendant pleaded guilty to the highest count in the indictment against him.
During the early morning hours of June 29, 2021, the defendant, while driving a vehicle, approached the victim as she was walking in the City of Buffalo. The defendant exited his vehicle and abducted the victim, who was less than 17 years old, by forcing her into his car. The defendant, who was not known to the victim, drove to a dead-end street where he parked the vehicle. The victim was able to escape from the car and the defendant drove away. The victim walked to Oishei Children’s Hospital where she reported the crime.
Baines is currently pending sentence in a separate criminal case. Judge Case found Baines guilty of one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (class “C” violent felony) following a three-day, non-jury trial in March 2023. The defendant was convicted of the only charge in the indictment against him.
On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at approximately 3:40 a.m., Buffalo Police officers on routine patrol attempted to initiate a traffic stop after witnessing a vehicle travel at a high-rate of speed northbound on Fillmore Avenue, then eastbound on Kensington Avenue with no headlights on. The defendant, who was the driver of the vehicle, refused to stop after police turned on their lights and sirens. The officers saw an object thrown out of the vehicle as it slowed down on Kensington Avenue. The police also slowed the patrol vehicle and saw a clear plastic bag, containing what appeared to be a handgun, on the ground.
As officers continued to follow, additional responding police officers attempted to block the suspect’s vehicle on Olympic Avenue and Berwyn Avenue. While the vehicle was momentarily stopped, officers saw that the defendant was the sole occupant. The defendant evaded the stop and fled the area. He was arrested approximately an hour later in the same vehicle.
Officers recovered the plastic bag on the 400 block of Kensington Avenue, which contained a loaded pistol. The gun was submitted into evidence for forensic testing. The operable handgun was linked to the defendant through DNA analysis.
Baines faces a maximum of 40 years in prison when he is sentenced before Judge Case on both files on Wednesday, June 21. He continues to be held without bail. Baines will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release.
DA Flynn commends Det. Jennifer Whitaker and Det. Jaime Varco of the Buffalo Police Department for their work in the kidnapping investigation.
Both cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Andres D. Ortiz of the special victims/domestic violence bureau. Assistant District Attorney Anthony F. Perna of the felony trials bureau served as co-counsel in the bench trial on the gun case.