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Guilty plea entered in shootout with police

A West Seneca man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of attempted murder for a shootout with West Seneca police last spring during which both he and his companion were wounded.

Jerome Brylski, 57, of Leydecker Road, pleaded guilty to the charge stemming from the shootout with four police officers at about 4 p.m. last April 25 on East and West Road, near the southern border of the town.

The plea came during a scheduled pretrial session before Senior Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico.

Brylski, who has been jailed since the incident, initially was indicted on first-degree degree attempted murder and menacing charges.

He admitted he fired at the officers with his lever-action rifle but made no further explanation as he pleaded guilty to the slightly reduced charge.

Christopher J. Belling, the newly appointed senior counsel and prosecutor in the Erie County District Attorney's Office, told the judge that West Seneca police officials had been consulted and agreed with the pretrial plea.

John K. Jordan, Brylski's lawyer, confirmed that his client is still being treated for the schizophrenia he has been suffering from for decades but said he took the plea because he was recently found mentally competent to stand trial and assist in his own defense.

"He pleaded guilty because the alternative was to face a possible first-degree attempted-murder conviction for trying to kill a police officer and spend the rest of his life in prison," Jordan said.

The judge refused to give Brylski a sentencing commitment and remanded him to jail pending his Feb. 10 sentencing. He faces a prison term of five to 25 years.

Belling said Jeffrey S. Edwards, 43, of Peoria Street, Cheektowaga, who was indicted on a criminal facilitation charge for being involved with Brylski during the shootout, remains hospitalized under treatment for the gunshot wounds he suffered during the incident.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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