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2ND MAN TAKES PLEA DEAL IN FATAL SHOOTING IN ROBBERY TRY

Jeffrey D. Cornman Jr. accepted a plea bargain Friday in connection with the shooting death of a Grand Island teenager.

Cornman, 22, of Brinton Street, Buffalo, appeared in Niagara County Court to plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter as an accomplice in the Jan. 27, 2004, shooting of Eric H. Lloyd, 18. Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza agreed to sentence Cornman to 10 years in prison.

Lloyd was shot during what police said was a drug-related robbery attempt in a room in the Pelican Motel on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls. He died March 9, 2004, in Erie County Medical Center.

On Oct. 15, Nicholas P. Hernandez, 21, of North Park Avenue, Buffalo, admitted shooting Lloyd. He pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and was promised a 20-year prison term, five years less than the maximum, if he identified the other two men who broke into the room with him.

Hernandez fingered Cornman and Peter Longo Jr., 19, of Ward Park, Grand Island. Longo has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder as an accomplice; his next court date is May 18.

Cornman's attorney, Thomas J. Eoannou, said his client "didn't shoot anyone. He didn't harm anyone. He's getting half the sentence his co-defendant (Hernandez) did."

Also as part of the plea deal, Cornman was allowed to remain free on $25,000 bail until he is sentenced.

The official sentencing was set for July 19, but could be postponed if Longo's case hasn't been tried or otherwise settled by then.

First Assistant District Attorney Timothy R. Lundquist said Cornman testified against Longo before a grand jury and will testify at trial if necessary.

Lundquist said Cornman "was unknown to investigators prior to Hernandez giving us the name. At the point Cornman was brought into the case, there was no information other than accomplice testimony that would have tied him to the crime."

That was a factor in the plea deal, since under New York law uncorroborated accomplice testimony is not legally sufficient to convict anyone of a crime.

In another case, Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. sentenced Jeffrey M. Gore, 32, of Homestead Avenue, Town of Niagara, to 1 1/3 to four years in prison for breaking a man's arm with a metal carpet laying tool.

Gore pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault for attacking Daniel S. Richter July 18 at a friend's home in the Town of Niagara.

Also sentenced to 1 1/3 to four years was Jason M. Chilcote, 35, of Walnut Street, Lockport. He had pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny for stealing a woman's credit card Dec. 2 in Lockport and using it to buy $250 worth of food and drinks.

Anthony D. Brantley, 23, who listed addresses on Willow and Pine avenues in Niagara Falls, was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison for fifth-degree sale and possession of a controlled substance.

Brantley sold cocaine to undercover police in Niagara Falls Oct. 7, 2003, and had cocaine and marijuana with him April 15, 2004, when Town of Niagara police chased him across a Packard Road parking lot.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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