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>Appellate court vacates Goforth weapons conviction

A state appellate court Tuesday set aside a seven-year prison term for Louis Goforth, an alleged member of the Bloods street gang of Buffalo, ruling that he was improperly forced to plead guilty to a felony weapons charge.

Goforth pleaded guilty before Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman in December 2003 to firing three gunshots into a house on Bailey Avenue while a woman and three young children were on the porch.

But the midlevel Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester agreed with Goforth's attorney, Jeremy D. Schwartz, and vacated the second-degree weapons charge plea. The court ruled the case lacked criminal "intent.

Unless the state's high court agrees to review the case, Goforth, 22, of Bickford Avenue, will be returned to Buffalo from Great Meadow Correctional Facility for further court proceedings.

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