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Appeals court vacates Buffalo woman's kidnapping conviction

The Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court has tossed out the conviction of a Buffalo woman on kidnapping and weapon possession charges stemming from a hostage situation that ended when she shot herself.

Latisha Maxwell pleaded guilty in 2015, admitting she went to her estranged husband's home armed with a pistol, took three people hostage and threatened to kill them. Buffalo police surrounded the residence. The situation ended when Maxwell shot herself and her victims were rescued uninjured.

Erie County Judge Sheila DiTullio sentenced Maxwell to 3 to 6 years in prison for kidnapping and 3½ years in prison on the weapons crime, along with 5 years of post-release supervision.

But appellate judges on Friday reversed the conviction and erased the guilty pleas, ruling the judge didn't tell Maxwell at the time of her plea that her sentence would include post-release supervision.

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