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Buffalo man escapes murder convictions but gets 50 years in prison

Thamud Eldridge was acquitted of murder but is still going to prison for 50 years.

A federal court jury found Eldridge and two other men guilty of several felony charges in 2016 but, for the most part, deadlocked over their role in the cold case killings of Thedrus “Flap” Laster and Sam “Smokey” Jones Jr.

The one exception was Eldridge, who was found not guilty of taking part in Laster’s murder.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara sentenced Eldridge on his racketeering conspiracy, firearms possession, kidnapping and robbery convictions.

The jury verdict came after six days of deliberations. The jury was split on Eldridge and co-defendant Kevin Allen’s roles in the Jones murder and co-defendant Galen Rose’s role in the Laster killing.

Laster was shot dead during an April 2005 robbery in a Delaware Avenue apartment. A few days later, Jones, another drug dealer, was killed during a robbery on Newburgh Avenue.

Feds won’t retry three men in two cold case murders


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