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Woman convicted of attempted murder and other charges in Lackawanna break-in

A jury this week convicted Sheila Kowal, 35, of attempted murder, assault and burglary charges after a one-week trial in Erie County Court, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

Kowal broke into a Lackawanna apartment and stabbed a man about nine times at about 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 6, 2011, according to prosecutors.

Kowal testified that she stabbed the man in self-defense, but the jury rejected her claim, Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said. Kowal illegally entered the apartment through a window, Sedita said.

Sedita said Assistant District Attorney Sara Ogden’s “withering cross-examination of the defendant clearly demonstrated the complete implausibility of her self-defense claim.”

Kowal faces a maximum prison term of 25 years when sentenced on Jan. 10 by Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio.

Jeremy Maier, who allegedly broke into the apartment with Kowal, allegedly encouraged Kowal to kill the man, Sedita said. Maier’s trial is scheduled to begin on Monday.