Former Cheektowaga nightclub owner Edward T. Jones today received a prison term of 15 years to life for the shotgun slaying of his brother and business partner, Timothy Jones, in their Youngs Road club.
State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang rejected complaints by Jones' latest attorney, Harold J. Boreanaz, about alleged prosecution mishandling of evidence and the victim's death-bed admission that he just "assumed" his brother shot him.
Justice Wolfgang called the Dec. 8, 1987, shooting the final act in "a modern-day Cain and Abel tragedy" that was compounded by the victim's severe cocaine habit and "abusive" personality and the defendant's alcohol problems.
Citing evidence that the victim was draining $1,000 to $5,000 a week from business receipts to support his cocaine habit in the final year of his life, the judge told Jones that did not justify the murder.
"You are the one who took another person's life, and you are the one who must suffer the consequences," the judge said.
Jones, 38, jailed since his Jan. 27 conviction for murder, weapons possession and witness intimidation, declined to comment.
Timothy Jones, 39, was fatally shot during an early morning incident in the brothers' September's Cafe, 207 Youngs Road.
Jones, who died 18 months after the shooting, told Cheektowaga fire emergency telephone operators, police and ambulance attendants the morning of the shooting that his brother shot him. Several weeks before he died of an infection in Erie County Medical Center, he claimed in a videotaped interview that he didn't see who shot him.
Prosecutor Joseph J. Marusak unsuccessfully argued that Jones should get a prison term of at least 20 years for fatally shooting his brother and an additional term for threatening a witness months after the shooting.
Boreanaz had asked the judge to set aside the conviction, claiming prosecutors never actually identified the voice on the fire emergency call made minutes after the shooting as that of the victim.