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Teen sentenced for fatally shooting victim in south Buffalo


Wed, Apr 3rd 2024 06:50 pm

Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Keane announced a 16-year-old male from Buffalo was sentenced this morning before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan, a designated Youth Part judge, to 3½ to 10 years in state prison, the maximum he could have received. The defendant was denied youthful offender status.

Our office will not be releasing the name of the juvenile offender due to his age.

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.

A jury found the juvenile offender 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 after approximately two hours of deliberation following a four-day trial in January 2024, convicting the juvenile offender of the lesser included offense in the first count and the second count, as charged, in the indictment against him.

Keane commended 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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