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Buffalo man gets 25 years for role in drive-by shooting

A Buffalo man involved in a drive-by shooting on Dec. 30, 2014 was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Friday.

A State Supreme Court jury found Nathaniel Ray, 39, guilty in November of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon for his part in a botched shooting in the 100 block of Courtland Avenue. Ray was on parole when he drove to the scene with Donald Johnson, 30, who also was on parole, and Johnson fired into a parked car. The bullet hit the driver’s seat, missing the head of the intended victim by inches.

Although the men drove away immediately, they were arrested minutes later on Floss Avenue and police found the .38-caliber handgun used in the shooting hidden in the dashboard.

Johnson pleaded guilty to attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in January.

Justice M. William Boller imposed the harsher sentence on Ray as a persistent violent felony offender. Ray had two previous weapons convictions, from 1995 and 2004, and two convictions for drug possession from 1997 and 2010.