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Tonawanda man convicted of gun charge in fatal fight case receives state prison sentence


Tue, May 21st 2024 05:10 pm

Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Keane announced 24-year-old Michael A. Atkinson of Town of Tonawanda was sentenced this morning before Erie County Court Judge Suzanne Maxwell Barnes to seven years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.

On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at approximately 1:20 a.m., the defendant shot and stabbed another man during a fight on James Avenue near River Road in the Town of Tonawanda. The victim, 19-year-old Harith Mohamed Al-Khalaf, died from his injuries nearby a short time later. The defendant was taken in a private vehicle to Kenmore Mercy where he was treated for minor stab wounds.

On Sept. 19, 2023, a jury found Atkinson guilty of one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (class “C” violent felony), following a four-day trial. The defendant was acquitted of the manslaughter charge.

Keane commends the Town of Tonawanda Police Department for its work in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Ryan D. Haggerty of the narcotics/intelligence bureau and Assistant District Attorney Andrew S. Criado of the felony trials bureau.

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