A Buffalo teenager who was on furlough from a youth facility when he shot a man pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in State Supreme Court Thursday morning.
As his trial on murder charges was set to begin, Floyd Johnson, 18, admitted to shooting Deon’Dra Lamar Smith, 20, of Warren, Ohio, last summer. Smith was fatally wounded on June 6 in a park on Sherman Street, between Sycamore and Genesee streets. He died at Erie County Medical Center.
Assistant District Attorney Gary W. Hackbush, who prosecuted the case, said that at the time of the shooting, Johnson, then 17, was living in the Gustavus Adolphus Family Services residential treatment center in Jamestown. He was assigned there after being processed in Family Court on another, unrelated felony charge.
Johnson was back home in Buffalo for an unsupervised weekend visit when Smith was shot. He was arrested five days later in Jamestown, after he reportedly told other residents what he had done over the weekend.
Prosecutors believe that Smith, who grew up in Buffalo, was back in the city to visit family when he was killed. Hackbush said it was unclear why Johnson shot him. The weapon used in the slaying was not recovered.
Johnson faces a prison term of up to 23 years when he returns before Justice Russell P. Buscaglia on June 27.