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Man found guilty of 2005 murder The trial was first for cold case squad

John Henry Monk was convicted Thursday of murdering a 68-year-old Goodyear Avenue woman during a violent home invasion two years ago.

Monk, 58, was convicted in the death of Sandra Hainesworth after about two hours of jury deliberations following a two-week trial before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns. Monk was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and a weapons count.

Monk was the first of the new Buffalo police cold case squad's suspects to stand trial.

During the trial, Monk said he last saw the victim when they were sexually intimate three days before her murder.

He has been jailed since January 2006, when he was arrested on parole violation charges linked to threats against a recent girlfriend.

Monk faces a mandatory life sentence without parole when he is sentenced Sept. 6. He has spent most of the last three decades behind bars on five felony rape and burglary convictions and parole violation counts.

He did not react emotionally as the verdict was read at about 3:30 p.m.

Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark and prosecutor Thomas M. Finnerty credited cold case Detectives Mary E. Gugliuzza and Charles J. Aronica with linking Monk to the killing when they completed lab work on bloodstain evidence shortly after the formation of the squad.

Gugliuzza and Aronica checked the state prison system's DNA bank of all inmates and linked Monk to the fatal stabbing.

Hainesworth was found by friends at about 10 p.m. June 24, 2005. Her hands were tied to her bed post, and she had been stabbed at least nine times in the throat.

Monk, of Forest Avenue, took the stand Wednesday and said he had back surgery in 2002. He also said he needs crutches because of long-standing knee problems that would have prevented him from climbing through the window at the victim's home.

Monk admitted that his DNA was found at the murder scene.

But he told the jury his bloodstains on the nylon stockings used to tie Hainesworth to her bed, on her telephone cord and on her kitchen floor came after he cut his hand on a broken drinking glass at the house two months before the killing.

Monday, Finnerty called to the stand a now 80-year-old Buffalo woman who told the jury that about a month ago, Monk had sent her a letter from jail asking her to remember dropping the glass two months before the murder.

The woman said she had once been sexually intimate with Monk, but she told the jury his letter to her was a lie.

Almost a dozen relatives and friends of Hainesworth hugged Finnerty in the courtroom moments after the verdict was read.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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