A Sloan man will spend up to 18 years in prison for a series of home invasions and armed robberies in Buffalo and Cheektowaga, a judge ruled Friday.
Peter Skinner, 28, of Francis Street, pleaded guilty to felony charges of robbery and burglary before Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico. D'Amico, who said he will sentence Skinner to 16 to 18 years in prison, also accepted a guilty plea from Destini Rodriguez, Skinner's former girlfriend.
Rodriguez, 25, of Progressive Avenue, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of second-degree attempted robbery and admitted helping Skinner in a tavern heist last year. She was allowed to remain free on previously posted bail. D'Amico refused to give her a sentencing commitment, but she faces a term of up to seven years.
Both are scheduled to be sentenced April 27.
Court officials said Skinner, who has a history of almost 30 arrests for burglary, robbery and car theft, has been in custody since Broadway Annex Officers Lance Russo and Patrick Crowley and Lt. Joseph Lynch arrested him shortly after a break-in at 3 a.m. Dec. 5 a at Schmarbeck Avenue home.
Skinner also was linked to home invasions dating back to November on Steward Avenue and Young, Brownell and Grimes streets, but he was required to plead guilty to only two felonies to resolve the probe, court officials said.
District Attorney Frank J. Clark said cooperation between the Buffalo and Cheektowaga police departments led to the discovery of DNA-linked evidence that proved "conclusive" and prompted Skinner to plead guilty to avoid a trial and an even longer prison term.
Skinner's crimes on the East Side prompted Buffalo officials in December to establish the Lock and Key Program, providing public funds to help senior citizens make their homes more secure with motion-detector lights, window locks and deadbolt door locks.