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Jury finds teen guilty of manslaughter for fatally shooting victim in south Buffalo


Tue, Jan 30th 2024 12:05 pm

Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced a jury found a 16-year-old male from Buffalo guilty of one count of manslaughter in the first degree (class “B” violent felony) and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (class “C” violent felony). Jurors rendered their decision yesterday afternoon after approximately two hours of deliberation following a four-day trial, convicting the juvenile offender of the lesser included offense in the first count and the second count, as charged, in the indictment against him.

On Sunday, June 26, 2022, at approximately 12:23 a.m., Buffalo Police responded to a shooting on the 100 block of Spaulding Avenue in the City of Buffalo. Officers found the victim, 24-year-old Morrell Buster Jr., deceased in the middle of the road. The victim died from a gunshot wound to his neck. The juvenile offender, who was 14 years old at the time of the crime, shot the victim with an illegal gun. The weapon was not recovered.

The juvenile offender, who is eligible for youthful offender adjudication, is scheduled to be sentenced before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan, a designated Youth Part judge. He continues to be held without bail in the custody of the Erie County Youth Services Center.

If denied youthful offender status, he faces a maximum sentence of an indeterminate term of 3 1/3 to 10 years of incarceration. Our office will not be releasing the name of the juvenile offender due to his age.

DA Flynn commends Det. Judy Walker of the Buffalo Police Department homicide squad for her work in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rebecca L. Schnirel of the homicide bureau and Assistant District Attorney Ryan A. Emmerling of the special investigations and prosecutions bureau.

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