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Teen gets 20 to life in murder plot

Terrol M. Massey, still claiming he had nothing to do with the strangulation death of Antionette Larkin of Amherst, was sentenced Friday to a prison term of 20 years to life.

State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang told Massey, 17, that his claims of innocence were "ridiculous," adding that the jury that convicted him last August had evidence that was "overwhelming to say the least."

Wolfgang rebuked Massey, a learning-disabled Amherst resident, for killing "someone you didn't know in exchange for money."

In a heavily guarded courtroom filled with Massey's relatives and friends, prosecutors Christopher J. Belling and James F. Bargnesi told the judge that Massey, before his arrest, had bragged to friends about the murder.

Larkin, 66, a retired nurse, was killed in her South Forest Road home, the victim of a murder-for-hire plot that was supposed to reap a financial windfall for several people. Massey never got the $5,000 he thought he would be paid.

Massey was 16 at the time of killing.

Prior to the sentencing, Wolfgang rejected defense attorney Daniel P. Grasso's request for an immediate new trial. Grasso replaced Anne E. Adams as Massey's attorney after the murder trial.

Grasso claimed he has forensic and mental health evidence as well as an alibi witness that Adams never presented to the jury, and he said he would appeal the verdict.

Massey was the sixth conspirator to be sentenced in the murder plot.

Wolfgang previously sentenced Lynn M. Larkin, 41, the estranged daughter-in-law of the victim, to serve 20 years to life in prison. Authorities said she was the mastermind of the plot.

Four co-defendants were given shorter prison terms for their roles in planning the murder scheme.

Robert Larkin, the victim's son, discovered his mother's body when he came home from work hours after her murder. He later divorced Lynn Larkin.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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