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Author Archives: Bennett Loudon

Covering courts and the legal community in western New York.

Appeals court adjusts consecutive sentence

Appellate Division Fourth Department

A state appeals court has changed the sentence for a man convicted of attempted murder, robbery and burglary in Erie County because the prison terms imposed should run concurrently, not consecutively. In July 2018, defendant Christopher Boyd pleaded guilty to ...

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Report on ‘trial penalty’ released

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A group of criminal defense organizations has released a report detailing the impact of the “trial penalty” — defendants facing more severe sentences if they take a case to trial instead of agreeing to a plea deal. The report from ...

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Shira May takes helm of the Center for Dispute Settlement

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As of March 1, Shira May is the new president and CEO of the Center for Dispute Settlement (CDS). May, 45, is replacing Frank Liberti in the leadership role at the organization. Liberti, who has been with CDS for about ...

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Rape conviction vacated

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A state appeals court has dismissed a guilty plea to rape charges because of inaccuracies in the charging documents. Defendant Paul Meeks, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree rape in Onondaga County Court before Judge Stephen J. Dougherty in April 2018. ...

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New trial granted in murder case

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The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, Fourth Department, has dismissed robbery charges in an Onondaga County Court case and ordered a new trial on other charges, including murder. Defendant Shakeith Stackhouse was convicted in June 2015 of second-degree murder, ...

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Weapon conviction reversed

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A state appeals court has reversed a weapon conviction because of insufficient evidence. Defendant Earnest Hawkins was convicted in Monroe County Court in September 2014 of two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of first-degree ...

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