A Bailey Avenue man pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday in the death of a Cheektowaga shopkeeper at his Walden Avenue home and business last summer. Police said Kevin Schwartz, then 45, was in the midst of a burglary when the victim was assaulted.
Schwartz was free on parole July 6, 2015 when Cheektowaga Police responded to a report of a disturbance at the Collectors Emporium, 1082 Walden Ave. Officers entered through a back door at about 9:30 p.m. and found Lawrence Cassata, 67, on the floor inside the building. At the same time, police reported, someone was seen bolting out a side door.
A chase ensued and officers apprehended Schwartz a few blocks away. Schwartz was arrested on a parole violation and has been in custody since that night.
Authorities say Cassata, who also lived at 1082 Walden, died from blunt force trauma and also may have suffered a cardiac event during the attack.
Schwartz faces a maximum of 25 year in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced at 2 p.m. Sept. 28 by Erie County Court Judget Thomas P. Franczyk.