Share this article

print logo

Matt Gryta

Matt Gryta covered city police and crime for The Buffalo News.


Erie County medical examin ers' conclusion that Jesse J. Pow ers, 8, died of a beating is not supported by the evidence, a pa thologist told the jury at the mur der trial of David J. Hinchy in State Supreme Court today. The boy may have been fatally beaten, Dr. Daniel F. Cowan testi fied, but autopsy findings cannot eliminate the "alternative explana tion" that severe…

Fifteen men, including a former Buffalo police officer previously convicted of a fatal beating, were arrested today and accused of be ing "large-scale bookmakers" in volved in two multimillion-dollar sports betting rings. Following a yearlong probe by a task force of lawmen for various federal, state and local agencies, an Erie County grand jury indict ed 11 of the su…

The city will ask a judge to force the last two corporate hold- outs to accept more than $1 mil lion to close the books on the por tion of the Hurd overtaxation case involving major property owners, the city's chief lawyer said Thurs day.Corporation Counsel Samuel F. Houston said he will ask State Su preme Court Justice Irving Fude man on Tuesday to impose the settlem…

Justice refused to brush aside a few cat heirs here Wednesday, as the Erie County Surrogate's Court paused to ponder the fate of five missing felines.Unsure whether the cats had been let out of the bag or the court had been left holding it, Surrogate Joseph S. Mattina asked several government and private agencies to start a search for five house cats named in a Buffal…

A judge today ordered Mayor Griffin and his budget director to allow City Assessment Commis sioner Joseph J. Tanzella to fill three jobs in the city's Department of Assessment. State Supreme Court Justice Jo seph D. Mintz said the mayor and his staff do not have the authority to block jobs previously approved in the budget. The judge rejected contentions by the mayo…

A Buffalo woman facing a sec ond trial in the 1978 voodoo-style mutilation murders of her four children was permitted to leave a pretrial hearing Monday afternoon after she told a judge the thought of reliving the incident was "too terrible" to think about. Gail Trait was allowed to leave the courtroom after State Supreme Court Justice Theodore S. Kasler reviewed t…

Buffalo Firefighter Matthew H. Moran was acquitted today of at tempted murder in a Allentown shooting that occurred a year ago. Following overnight delibera tions at the close of a two-week trial before Erie County Judge Jo seph P. McCarthy, the jury also found Moran innocent of assault, weapons possession and resisting arrest. Moran, 40, was charged in the Oct. 6,…

David Hinchy's palm print was found on the death-threat letter mailed to his attorney several months after his arrest, a Buffalo police investigator testified today. After two separate examina tions, Detective Leo Malecki told the State Supreme Court jury he recently was able to confirm that Hinchy's right palm print was on the death-threat letter sent last De cember …

A trucker pleaded innocent to day to criminally negligent homi cide and other charges in the fatal July 25 crash on the Aurora Ex pressway that took the lives of a pregnant West Seneca woman and her teen-age daughter. Antonino Schepis, 53, of the Town of Boston was released on his own recognizance following his arraignment before Erie County County Judge Michael L. D'…

A Buffalo woman imprisoned for more than a decade for the voodoo-style murders of her four children does not want a court- ordered retrial. Gail Trait has offered to plead guilty at a new trial to get back to prison and has threatened suicide if authorities force her to stand trial a second time, The Buffalo News has learned. Ms. Trait was granted a new t…

Death-threat letters were re ceived by David Hinchy's lawyer, the judge in his case and a news paper reporter last year implicat ing another man in the murder of 8-year-old Jesse J. Powers, the chief of the Buffalo police homi cide squad testified today. Capt. Richard Donovan told the State Supreme Court jury in Hinchy's week-old murder trial that prosecutors turned t…

A detective Thursday said Da vid Hinchy told police Jesse Pow ers wasn't the only person on whom he performed choke holds before the 8-year-old Riverside boy was killed last year. "Most of the time there were more than two of us (performing the choke holds)," Detective Rob ert M. Grabowski said that Hin chy told police during a three-page confession in Jesse's deat…

When confronted with the news that Jesse Powers' body had been found, David Hinchy told police the 8-year-old died as they were "goofing around" choking each other in a martial-arts stunt, jurors in Hinchy's murder trial were told today. After days of telling police he didn't know where Jesse was and claiming the boy had planned to run away from home, Hinchy fi nally …

Proclaiming his innocence, the brother of rock singer Rick James Wednesday received a six-to-12- year prison term for trying to kill a man during what prosecutors claim was a mistaken-identity shooting three years ago. State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang rejected Wil liam Johnson's claims that the ju ry misapplied evidence and con victed him only because he …

The former head of the Erie County Conservative Party chal lenged the second of two recent elections won by his successor, Jo seph F. Kelly, Tuesday in State Supreme Court.State Supreme Court Justice Vincent E. Doyle reserved deci sion on a bid by ousted party chief Fred Vidal to invalidate the elec tion and freeze the party's finan cial records. Doyle, who had voided…