Charles W. Coleman, already serving a possible life term for a Buffalo drug underworld murder, could be in his mid-70s before the state parole board even has to consider releasing him from custody. His drug-trafficking conviction Wednesday would extend his prison stay.
After a three-day trial before State Supreme Court Justice Ronald H. Tills, a jury Wednesday deliberated for about an hour before finding Coleman, 25, guilty of crack cocaine trafficking on Garner Avenue last October, about nine months before his murder conviction.
Coleman is already a month into the 25-years-to-life term Tills imposed Sept. 13 on his conviction in June for the fatal shooting of Uri Perkins, 23, outside a Main Street bar on Dec. 9. He now faces an additional 12 1/2 to 25 years in prison on the drug conviction.
Prosecutor Emilia Rodriguez said she will urge Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark to recommend the maximum term in the drug case, making Coleman at least 75 before he can even be considered for parole.
Coleman, an Oakmont Avenue resident, was ordered returned to Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, pending his Dec. 7 sentencing. He was cleared of a weapons charge for a rifle seized during his arrest.
Michael P. Clohessy, Coleman's court-assigned attorney, said he will appeal the conviction. He said drugs seized during a raid less than a half-hour after an undercover agent claimed Coleman sold him $20 worth of crack cocaine at a Garner Avenue home at about 8 p.m. Oct. 11, 2000, belonged to a woman who owned the home.