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Area man pleads guilty to escape, gun counts in State Supreme Court

Christopher Price, who escaped from Erie County Medical Center while being treated for a minor injury suffered during his Oct. 26 arrest for having a loaded gun near the Central Library, pleaded guilty Monday to felony gun and escape charges.

Price, 32, of Newburgh Avenue, was returned to jail after State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller told the ex-con he faces a prison term of seven to 15 years when sentenced July 28.

Price managed to slip out of ECMC's emergency room at about 8 p.m., several hours after he was taken there for treatment of minor injuries he suffered when police officers tackled him to the ground on Ellicott Street near Broadway outside the Central Library.

He was arrested for having a loaded handgun near the library but escaped from ECMC still wearing police handcuffs. He managed to get to Pittsburgh, where he was going by the name William Banks when arrested during a Nov. 3 drug raid there.

Pittsburgh police determined his identity through a fingerprint check and called Buffalo police.

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III and prosecutor Lauren A. Williamson said the second-degree weapons possession charge to which Price pleaded guilty was the highest count he would have faced had he opted for a trial. He also pleaded to second-degree escape.

Price faces a stiffer-than-normal prison term on his weapons plea because of three earlier felony convictions. He was extradited from Pittsburgh Jan. 14, and authorities there won't be prosecuting him on his Nov. 3 arrest, Sedita and Williamson said.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com