A Buffalo man who was supposed to be sentenced Monday in the fatal beating of his wife last March asked to withdraw his guilty plea and wants a new attorney.
Antoine Mattox, 32, of Andover Avenue, faces up to 25 years in prison.
When he appeared for sentencing before Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio he told the judge he had been coerced by his attorney into pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter on Oct. 17.
The judge, who presided at a two-hour plea proceeding in his case, said she had seen no coercion. But she agreed to assign him a new attorney – his third lawyer in the case – to file a motion to withdraw the plea.
Assistant District Attorney Gary W. Hackbush told the judge the victim’s family was in court for the sentencing. The judge apologized for the delay and set a Jan. 2 hearing.
Mattox was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Nedra E. Thomas-Mattox, 38, his wife of 10 years.
He was arrested at a Rochester bus terminal hours after the couple’s landlord found her body in their Kensington-Bailey neighborhood home March 11. Police believe he was returning to Virginia, where the couple once lived and he had relatives.
An autopsy revealed Thomas-Mattox died of blunt-force trauma. Police said Mattox beat her with his fists and an iron and also kicked her.