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Jury convicts defendant in two armed holdups

A day after Leon Webb told an Erie County Court jury he hates guns because he has been shot, jurors found him guilty on robbery and assault charges for two armed holdups and the beating of a teenage accomplice.

Webb, 23, of Mayfield Drive, has been jailed since his arrest minutes after the armed robbery of two men on Herkimer Street near Breckenridge Street early last July 29.

Webb, who will be sentenced July 26 by Senior Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico, faces from eight to 50 years in prison. Prosecutor Daniel M. Killelea said he will urge Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark to seek the maximum sentence for Webb, who served a brief jail term after a drug conviction six years ago.

Last week, two teenage boys, both facing possible jail terms as youthful offenders, identified Webb as their accomplice in the July 29 holdup. Webb also was identified as the man who used a sawed-off, double-barreled shotgun, similar to the weapon used in the July 29 holdup, in the robbery of $200 from a clerk at the WNY Grocery, on Grant Street near West Ferry Street, at about 11 a.m. last June 19.

Killelea said that when Webb was arrested in the vacant Auchinvole Avenue home he owns, a pair of sunglasses stolen from one of the robbery victims was found in his pants pocket, as well as a sawed-off shotgun.

Webb, who testified Monday, spoke of his own experience as a shooting victim. He said he was a longtime patron of the deli but denied the holdup. Killelea said Webb is a member of Buffalo's Bloods street gang.

Sheriff's deputies testified they saw Webb break the nose of one of his accomplices as they were being put in a holding tank in the Erie County Holding Center, Killelea said..

The accomplice had just told Webb the morning before their first court appearance that he planned to confess to the street holdup, the prosecutor said.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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