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Man sentenced to 24 years in prison for Buffalo gas station slaying

A distraught father Monday asked that his son’s killer receive the harshest prison sentence “so he doesn’t get out and kill again.”

Bonnie Carson’s son, Rashiene T. Carson, was fatally shot by Ahkeem R. Huffman on Nov. 10, 2012, at a Riverside service station.

Rashiene Carson, 24, and some friends had stopped to get gas when Huffman shot Carson in the neck while trying to take his gold chain. Huffman did not know Carson.

“He doesn’t deserve to be in society killing people he doesn’t know,” Bonnie Carson told Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case.

The judge sentenced Huffman to 24 years in prison, one year less than the 25-year maximum prison term for first-degree manslaughter.

Carson was a rear-seat passenger in a car parked in the Getty gas station lot at 595 Ontario St. at 12:50 a.m. when he was shot, police said.

The judge called the fatal shooting of the Lockport man senseless and tragic.

Case told Carson’s family how sorry he is for their loss, and he thanked them for the restraint they showed in court during sentencing.

During the sentencing, the judge cited Huffman’s criminal record.

At the time of the gas station shooting, Huffman had just completed his prison sentence in a 2008 liquor store robbery.

Two months later, he was arrested on the weapon charge, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in May 2013 to two to four years in prison. He was still in prison when he was indicted last summer in the gas station slaying on two counts of second-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He pleaded guilty last May to the reduced manslaughter charge.

Prosecutors said the victim’s family agreed to the plea. If Huffman had been convicted of murder, he would have faced a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

The judge ordered Huffman to begin serving the manslaughter sentence after he completes the sentence for weapon possession.

Before sentencing, defense attorney Joseph J. Terranova told the judge that Huffman grew up in a dysfunctional family. He also cited his young age and intoxication at the time of the fatal shooting.

Huffman apologized to the victim’s family, noting the victim had a son who has lost his father. Huffman said his daughter has lost him to prison.

Buffalo police initially arrested Charles Tubbins in the gas station slaying, after several eyewitnesses identified him from an array of photographs that detectives showed them.

But DNA tests of the car door handle, which the assailant touched when he opened the door and shot the victim, showed the DNA did not match Tubbins’ DNA.

As a result of those DNA tests, prosecutors alerted the court and Tubbins’ attorney.

Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk dismissed the charges against Tubbins.

The DNA from the door handle was submitted to the New York State databank and matched Huffman, a convicted felon who resembles Tubbins, prosecutors said.