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Getaway driver in pizza delivery robbery gets seven years in prison

A Buffalo man who acted as the getaway driver when he and two others robbed a pizza delivery driver of $205 was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison.

Leland Jirdon, 35, of Montclair Street, had pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery but sought to minimize his role in the robbery, telling Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio that he “basically just drove the car.”

“I’m sorry for what happened,” Jirdon said.

“This is clearly a violent and vicious crime,” DiTullio said, adding that such crimes hurt the community’s quality of life.

“If you rob innocent people who are working, you are going to go to jail and go for a long time,” DiTullio said.

The pizza delivery driver was robbed April 20, 2012, after he completed a delivery on Davidson Avenue in the Kensington-Bailey neighborhood. The driver, who was knocked to the ground, was not injured.

Jirdon admitted robbing the delivery person, along with Ishamele Adams, 22, of Eggert Road, who previously pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Another suspect also recently pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery, said Assistant District Attorney Patrick B. Shanahan, who prosecuted Jirdon.

Jirdon, who had a previous violent felony conviction, had faced seven to 15 years in prison. He was not offered a plea bargain.

Police officers spotted the getaway vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee with a broken taillight, and arrested Jirdon about 10 minutes after the robbery.