Louise K. Nolley, a drug addict who made legal history by winning an AIDS-discrimination suit for mistreatment in the Erie County Holding Center, faces a state prison term of up to 14 years on her conviction Friday for stealing $326 worth of clothing and shoes with a forged credit card in the summer of 1993.
Following a four-day trial before acting State Supreme Court Justice Peter J. Sprague, a jury deliberated about three hours before finding Ms. Nolley, 40, guilty of forgery and petit larceny for purchases in the Walden Galleria on July 21 and Aug. 12, 1993. She was acquitted of other forgery and petit larceny charges in the use of a forged credit card to buy another $300 worth of bedding and footwear at the Walden Galleria.
Ms. Nolley has been arrested three dozen times, including shoplifting arrests in Buffalo, Amherst and Cheektowaga in the last decade and has felony drug convictions in 1983 and 1989.
Already jailed on her guilty plea last September to shoplifting a $198 telephone from Kaufmann's in the Walden Galleria, Ms. Nolley was ordered to returned to court April 21 for sentencing by Sprague, an Allegany County court judge on temporary assignment in Buffalo.
Candace K. Vogel, chief of Erie County District Attorney Kevin M. Dillon's White Collar Crime Unit, said Ms. Nolley was convicted of buying clothing and shoes at the J.C. Penny store in the Walden Galleria two years ago with a temporary credit card on which she forged her mother's name after using a driver's license she stole from her mother to get the card.
Two J.C. Penny employees testified they saw Ms. Nolley sign what turned out to be her mother's name to get the card. Prosecutors lacked eyewitnesses on the forgery and petit larceny charges for which she was acquitted.
Judith M. Kubiniec, Ms. Nolley's court-assigned attorney, said the conviction will be appealed.
Ms. Vogel said an Erie County grand jury indicted Ms. Nolley for the credit card forgery last April.
In 1992 U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin ordered Erie County to pay Ms. Nolley $154,997 for isolating her in the Holding Center in 1988 because she was infected with the HIV virus.
Prosecutors said Ms. Nolley forced her mentally retarded son, Quincy, now 22, to confess to his role in the 1992 slaying of a group home aide in South Buffalo within 24 hours of the slaying.