The second of three men convicted in the 1998 stomping death of Gray Trzaska was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison.
Lorenzo Jones, 24, received the maximum penalty from Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio for what she called his "cold, callous and so violent" attack.
Jones expressed sympathy for Trzaska but continued to insist he didn't take part in his murder.
Trzaska, 41, was beaten to death after apparently being mistaken for a pizza deliveryman as he walked to his car on Broadway near Titus Avenue on Oct. 2, 1998.
Defense lawyer Michael P. Clohessy told the judge he intends to appeal the jury verdict because he is convinced Jones, a former Alabama convict, was wrongly convicted on the word of his jailed cousin, William Nance, 18.
Clohessy said Nance, who faces a 20-year term on his plea to a manslaughter charge, is "the actual perpetrator . . . and a reprehensible criminal who sought to buy his way out of life in prison" by implicating Jones and another cousin.
Clohessy said Nance, who has been jailed since his arrest shortly after Trzaska's death, gave police six or seven false statements about the killing.
The defense lawyer told the judge, "The wrong man is going to prison, I can guarantee you that."
On March 14, DiTullio sentenced the third cousin involved in the case, Alex Nance, also 24, to a 27-year-to-life term for his role in the crime and in the theft of an Amherst woman's car.