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Man shot by officer is convicted

A man shot by an on-duty police officer in a standoff last Sept. 24 on Kermit Street was found guilty by a jury of all charges Tuesday evening.

Lamont D. Williams, who is paralyzed from the waist down, was convicted of weapons possession, menacing a police officer and loitering. He will be sentenced Oct. 20. He could receive seven to 15 years in prison.

He also faces a prison term of up to four years on a jury conviction in a recent drug trial.

Williams, 21, of Poplar Avenue, did not testify during the weeklong trial before Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman, despite conflicting testimony about whether he was armed and DNA found on a 38-caliber revolver that he allegedly pulled out of his pants.

John J. Flynn, one of Williams' attorneys, is said to be ready to file a lawsuit against the city over the shooting. Police Officer Jason Mayhook was cleared of criminal responsibility in the shooting by an Erie County grand jury two weeks ago. He had testified that Williams, who was fleeing, stopped, turned and pointed his handgun at him and other officers.

Scott F. Riordan, Williams' trial attorney, argued that the claims by Mayhook and other officers were "physically impossible" because Williams was shot in the back. Police confronted Williams, who had been in an illegal dice game at Bailey and Kermit avenues.

Prosecutor Jaime L. Gallagher scoffed at the "offensive and speculative defense theory," reminding the jury that the DNA of Williams, who has a history of weapons and narcotics arrests, was on the handgun he pointed at Mayhook who was "in fear for his life."

The prosecutor also noted that the shot entered Williams' right side, near his kidney, and shattered his spinal cord, proving he was not shot from behind but as he turned to his right to shoot the police officer.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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