Matt Gryta - The Buffalo News

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Matt Gryta

Matt Gryta covers city police and crime for The Buffalo News.


Hours before 9-year-old Melody Wilson was sexually assaulted and slain on Squaw Island, she was told by an older girl to accompany Thomas Kennedy and some other children there and was assured Kennedy wouldn't harm her, the judge at Kennedy's murder trial was told today."I told her she had to go with him and that Tom wouldn't do nothing to her," Rebecca Martin, 16, tes…

Theodore Simmons was convicted Thursday of murdering the Rev. A. Joseph Bissonette and Monsignor David P. Herlihy during robberies two weeks apart last year in their rectories.Prosecutors said they would ask for the maximum prison term of 50 years to life for Simmons, 19, of Wyoming Avenue and his codefendant, Milton Jones, 18, of Ivy Street, who was convicted in a se…

The only woman to serve as president of the New York State Bar Association today declared her candidacy for a State Supreme Court vacancy.Maryann Saccomando Freedman said she will seek the Republican Party nomination when the party meets Saturday to select its three candidates for 14-year terms in the 8th Judicial District."People must regain confidence in our courts …

Thomas Kennedy's murder and sodomy trial began today as authorities searched for a switch-blade knife his attorneys concede he used to stab a 9-year-old Buffalo girl on Squaw Island.Workers for the Buffalo Sewer Authority are draining a water-retention pond on the island that was ignored when police looked in vain last year for the murder weapon.Deputy District Attorn…

A judge Tuesday rejected a bid by the Buffalo police union to rescind the transfers of 46 officers ranging from rookies to veteran police captains.State Supreme Court Justice Joseph S. Forma said he couldn't consider the request by the Police Benevolent Association for a restraining order that would reverse the transfers because the union hadn't filed an actual lawsui…

A State University of Buffalo law student charged with the death of his roommate is undergoing psychiatric observation at the Erie County Medical Center after an apparent suicide attempt, law enforcement sources said Tuesday afternoon.Stacy M. Glover, 24, was admitted to the hospital Monday evening, said sources who spoke on the condition of confidentiality. Glover is…

Twelve jurors began consider ing this afternoon two starkly dif ferent portraits of Theodore Sim mons as they deliberated his role in the slayings of two Buffalo priests early last year.The State Supreme Court jury of eight men and four women be gan deliberations about 1:30 p.m., after listening to 2 1/2 hours of legal explanations from Justice Freder ick M. Marshall…

A judge early this afternoon refused to block tonight's reorganizational meeting of the strife-torn Erie County Conservative Party.State Supreme Court Justice Vincent E. Doyle ruled that former party Chairman Fred F. Vidal has no valid legal grounds for asking the courts to halt the meeting at which his successor is to be selected.During a noontime hearing, Joseph A. …

A judge today said he may order a court hearing Thursday on the Buffalo Police Department's policy on assignment transfers.The hearing will only be held, however, if the judge rejects a bid by the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association to reverse the transfers of 46 officers Monday.State Supreme Court Justice Joseph S. Forma reserved decision following a noontime heari…

Theodore Simmons' apparent lack of courage in trying to prevent a friend from slaying two Buffalo Catholic priests last year doesn't make him guilty of murder, one of his attorneys told a State Supreme Court jury today.With jury deliberations set to begin Wednesday, defense attorney George R. Blair Jr. argued that the Buffalo teen-ager was no match physically or menta…

Minutes after he witnessed the arrest of his alleged accomplice in the murders of two Buffalo priests in an unrelated matter at the Peace Bridge, Theodore Simmons took a cab to the airport for a trip to the West Coast, the cab driver told the jury at his murder trial today.Richard Drayton, a part-time cab driver, testified that Simmons, 19, told him about 7 a.m. March…