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JURY CONVICTS BUFFALO MAN IN BAR STABBING

A Buffalo man with a history of arrests was convicted Monday of repeatedly stabbing another man in a West Side bar last May.

Dominic Gagliardo, 32, of Garner Street was found guilty of first-degree assault and a weapons charge for stabbing Gary Spencer in Don's Corner Bar on Congress Street May 16. He was acquitted of attempted murder.

Gagliardo did not testify.

The verdict came after three hours of jury deliberations at the end of a three-day trial before State Supreme Court Justice Ronald H. Tills.

Gagliardo faces a possible life term as an repeat felon. He has a record of convictions in New York State and South Carolina.

Both the assault and attempted murder charges carry mandatory prison terms of at least eight years. Prosecutors are expected to press for a life term with a minimum of 15 years served, officials said.

At the request of prosecutor Michael J. Cooper, the judge ordered Gagliardo to remain jailed pending his May 8 sentencing. Cooper confirmed he will recommend to District Attorney Frank J. Clark that they seek a life-term for Gagliardo, who has already served four brief prison terms.

On Thursday, Spencer, 32, of Buffalo related that Gagliardo walked up to him in the bar about 9:45 p.m. last May 16 and said, "I got something for you," and stabbed him four times before running from the bar.

Spencer received 70 stitches at the Erie County Medical Center.

Also on Thursday, Thomas Spencer, 35, the victim's brother, testified that a week before the attack, he beat up Gagliardo's best friend in the same bar, following an argument over a woman.

Two male friends of Gagliardo and a female defense witness all testified Friday that Gagliardo stabbed Gary Spencer in self-defense with a six-inch knife they claimed Spencer had pulled during the May 16 bar room incident.

Defense attorney Gregory Fina told the jury Gagliardo never meant to hurt Gary Spencer and only stabbed him in self-defense. Court officials said Gagliardo served three prison terms in South Carolina for break-ins between 1983 and 1987, and was imprisoned for more than two years on a 1987 Buffalo robbery conviction.

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