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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Judge finds two guilty of manslaughter in shooting death

    Two Buffalo men were convicted today of manslaughter and a felony weapons charge for the shooting death of 17-year-old Damion Diggs during a confrontation last summer.

    Robert Bakerx, 20, of Rounds Avenue, and Richard Heary, 22, of Waverly Street, were pronounced guilty by State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns. The verdict followed a five-day non-jury trial during which neither man testified.

    The judge also ruled both not guilty of second-degree murder.

    Neither defendant, jailed following a standoff after the shooting, reacted emotionally as the judge announced his verdict about 10:15 a.m. Bakerx’s attorney, Joseph A. Agro, and Michael J. Stachowski, Heary’s attorney, both said the convictions will be appealed.

    Diggs was shot to death just before midnight July 20 on Walden Avenue. He apparently had turned to flee after arriving there after leading a crowd of about 30 people complaining about fighting between teenage girls. He was struck by both shotgun pellets and a single 9mm bullet in the center of his back.

    Trial Prosecutors Gary W. Hackbush and John P. Feroleto said they will urge Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III to recommend the judge impose the maximum-allowable 25-year prison terms on both jailed suspects when they are sentenced May 11. Both mean face at least five years in prison.

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