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Murder defendant gets new legal counsel

Diamond Lewis, a 19-year-old charged with 19 violent felonies, including two murders, is getting new legal representation.

Lewis’s family hired Jeffrey Santoro after Lewis was arrested in January on a weapons charge. Lewis, who has been in custody since that time, was arraigned on the murder charges, six counts of second-degree attempted murder, five weapons charges and six charges of first- or second-degree assault.

Santoro told Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case Wednesday that Lewis’s family was not in a position to pay an attorney for the amount of legal work the added charges will require and he also pointed out that he is not on the homicide panel of the assigned counsel program.

Considering the magnitude of the charges in both number and severity, Case opted to assign two attorneys, John Gilmour and Brian Parker, to represent Lewis. Assistant District Attorney Michael P. Felicetta is prosecuting the case.

Lewis returns to court with his new attorneys April 21 for pretrial conferences. He is accused of killing David Skipper Jr., 22, on Oct. 14, 2014 and of killing Alonzo Scott, 18, on June 6.