Brian D. Seaman, a former Niagara County assistant district attorney, announced Thursday that he will run for district attorney in 2020.
Seaman, who has been an attorney in private practice for the past six years, said he always hoped for a chance to come back to the District Attorney's Office – and now that incumbent DA Caroline A. Wojtaszek has announced she's running for county judge, that chance has arrived.
"I was excited to see that position open up," said Seaman, 43, a Youngstown Republican.
"If I could find a job that's important for a lawyer to do, where he could do the most for his community, that would be it," Seaman said.
He's the son of veteran municipal attorney Daniel E. Seaman and the nephew of David E. Seaman, a former assemblyman and Niagara County Family Court judge.
Brian Seaman also is a partner with his father and Assemblyman Michael J. Norris in Seaman Norris, a Lockport law firm that provides municipal law services for several Niagara County municipalities.
Brian Seaman is in his third year as Town of Lockport attorney.
A married father of seven children, Seaman left the DA's Office in 2013, but he said the time away from criminal law has done him good.
"Looking back on some of the cases I handled (as a prosecutor), it would have helped me, for instance, to know more about how a real estate transaction works when you're prosecuting a lawyer who stole money from his clients," Seaman said.
During his time in the DA's Office from 2006 to 2013, Seaman did prosecute a couple of crooked lawyers and other white-collar criminals, as well as robberies and burglaries.
He also was assigned to four homicide trials, all of which ended in convictions.
But his most memorable trial might have been that of Adam J. Hamilton, a Niagara Falls man who in 2009 stashed himself in the trunk of the car of his estranged girlfriend, Stephanie Turk, emerging to shoot her and two Niagara Falls police officers, Walter R. Nichols Jr. and Michael Bird, who rushed to the scene.
Hamilton, whose knee was shattered by return fire from the officers, was found guilty of three counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison. According to the state prison website, he will be eligible for parole in 2080, when he is 106 years old.
Hamilton, testifying in his own defense, claimed he had hidden a rifle and a shotgun inside a rotten tree trunk in front of the house of his girlfriend's mother 13 months before the shootings, and fired only to try to frighten Turk.
"You thought, 'Lucky for me I've got some guns stashed in a tree trunk nearby. I'll just go grab them?' " a skeptical Seaman asked Hamilton.
The jury didn't buy it, either.
Seaman graduated from Lockport High School and the University of Notre Dame before earning his law degree from Loyola University in Chicago. He worked two years as a law clerk to a U.S. magistrate judge in Milwaukee before returning to Niagara County, where he was hired by then-DA Matthew J. Murphy III.