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DRIVER CONVICTED OF MANSLAUGHTER IN DEATH OF BOY

A Buffalo man was convicted Wednesday of vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving in the death of a 7-year-old boy.

Donald Johnson of Box Street was walking to a neighborhood Halloween party with his mother, grandmother, brother, sister and other relatives about 8 p.m. Oct. 27, 1989, when a car driven by Darryl L. Holland, 27, struck him after hitting a parked car. The boy was inches from the curb on Hill Street near Leroy Avenue.

Holland also was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and driving at an imprudent speed.

Eyewitnesses, including the boy's mother, Jeanette Manns, testified that Holland's car dragged the boy about 30 feet to the intersection of Hill and Leroy after striking a second parked car.

The eyewitnesses said Holland was speeding, but police were unable to determine how fast the car was going. The boy died of a broken neck about four hours later in Erie County Medical Center.

Holland's friends told police that when they discovered Holland in his parked car outside his Burgard Street flat minutes later, his hands still gripped the steering wheel and he couldn't recall the events.

Holland, who was arrested 12 hours later, said he had been drinking in at least three bars for about eight hours before the boy was hit, prosecutor Michael J. Cooper said.

Holland was jailed when Senior Erie County Judge Rose D. LaMendola raised his bail from $2,500 to $7,500. Cooper said Holland faces a possible seven-year prison term when sentenced Jan. 28.

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