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JURY CONVICTS INMATE OF ARMED ROBBERY COMMITTED TWO DAYS AFTER '95 SLAYING

Melvin Virgil was convicted Tuesday of committing a violent Lackawanna armed robbery two days after he used the same weapon to kill Buffalo delicatessen owner Thomas C. Reid two years ago.

After a three-day trial before State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang, a jury deliberated about an hour before finding Virgil, 29, guilty on robbery and weapons counts for stealing more than $1,000 in men's gold jewelry.

Virgil is serving a life term without parole for the Reid murder. Virgil sat calmly chewing gum and twirling his hair as the verdict was announced.

But as Justice Wolfang set his sentencing date for Dec. 8, Virgil turned to her and said: "I got life. It doesn't matter."

Virgil didn't testify or present any defense witnesses. He faces an additional term of 25 years to life for stealing the jewelry from two men while he watched a Bills playoff game on television with them Dec. 30, 1995.

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