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Matt Gryta

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


Five days after he allegedly killed 8-year-old Jesse Powers but before the boy's body was found, David Hinchy told police he had never molested the boy and said he had nothing to do with the boy's disappearance, jurors in Hinchy's murder trial were told today. Hinchy went on trial Monday on two murder counts for the July 30, 1987, beating and strangula tion of Jesse i…

An Erie County grand jury is considering a charge of criminally negligent homicide against the truck driver in a crash on the Au rora Expressway that killed a preg nant woman and her daughter three months ago, law enforce ment sources said Tuesday after noon.Despite testimony that trucker Antonio Schepis, 53, played an ac tive role in lifesaving efforts and risked his…

Jesse Powers was slain less than 24 hours before he was to tell po lice that David Hinchy had mo lested him months earlier, the vic tim's mother told the jury today at Hinchy's trial. For a week before the sched uled police visit, Hinchy repeated ly tried to talk to the 8-year-old and his mother on the phone, Nancy Powers testified. Ms. Powers, 31, told the State Supr…

Attorneys for Edward Beau fort-Cutner accused one of his al leged shooting victims Monday of trying to railroad him into prison for a crime he vehemently denies having committed. In a letter to the judge in the case, the attorneys complained that an article in The Buffalo News on Saturday about Gayle Wolfer's efforts to have Beaufort- Cutner's bail revoked, which re f…

David Hinchy's "premeditated" murder of 8-year-old Jesse J. Pow ers went so far as to include efforts to confuse police and his lawyer about the identity of the killer, a prosecutor told the jury at Hin chy's murder trial today. Hinchy, 24, is charged with strangling Jesse on July 30, 1987, in an abandoned railroad box car off Rano Street, several blocks from the boy'…

One day after he was convicted of murdering a 9-year-old girl in a sex attack, Thomas Kennedy was charged today with assaulting a fellow inmate six months ago while defending the honor of rock singer Madonna. Kennedy is now accused of pummeling a fellow inmate in the Erie County Holding Center on April 1, according to a Sheriff's Department misdemeanor com plaint. Ken…

After expressing initial doubt that she had committed the crime, Clau dette Hudson pleaded not responsible by reason of insanity Wednesday in the fatal stabbing of her 19-month-old daughter last year. Asked by State Supreme Court Jus tice Mario J. Rossetti, "You did stab your daughter?" Miss Hudson, 24, re plied: "That's what they say." After a hurried talk with Mark …

A man described as Buffalo's biggest heroin trafficker over the past decade was sentenced today to 20 years to life in prison for handling $3 million worth of heroin seized in a bus terminal lock er two years ago. Leonard E. Price, 46, received the mandatory term after being convicted June 1. He did not comment during the sentencing. Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Ami…

An Erie County judge today convicted Thomas Kennedy, 22, of murdering 9-year-old Melody Wilson 13 months ago, rejecting defense arguments that Kennedy was either insane or emotionally out of control at the time of the slaying. Kennedy sodomized and then stabbed the girl to death on Aug. 26, 1987, on Squaw Island, where he had gone with her and other young children to …

Prosecutors have found a boy who can help them prove that David J. Hin chy was stalking Jesse Powers for hours on the day the 8-year-old Riverside boy was slain, law enforcement sources said Monday.The boy, whose identity is being withheld to protect his safety, recently told authorities that Hinchy ap proached him on the afternoon of July 30, 1987 -- hours before Jes…

An apparent silver lining ap peared Thursday in the legal clouds surrounding television weatherman Don Paul. Although State Supreme Court Justice Leo J. Fallon barred him from working as a television mete orologist until February, he didn't restrict him from doing other on- the-air work for his new station, Paul and attorneys for the station say.Fallon, clarifying a p…

Craig Jones today pleaded guilty to a reduced manslaughter charge for masterminding the drug heist in which an innocent bystander was slain.But he also asked a judge to throw the case out of court because prosecutors granted him immunity during grand jury proceedings four years ago.Jones, 35, now an Arizona limousine driver, told Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico h…

Battle lines are forming on a second front in the fight over Buffalo television weatherman Don Paul as his former station threatened legal action Wednesday against his new station on grounds of contract interference.WIVB-TV (Channel 4), Paul's former station, believes that WGRZ-TV (Channel 2), his new station, "has acted in violation" of Paul's contract with WIVB, and…

Erie County Judge Joseph P. McCarthy will rule Wednesday on whether Thomas Kennedy deliberately killed Melody Wilson, 9, on Squaw Island last summer or whether Kennedy was insane or emotionally out of control at the time.McCarthy said Wednesday the defense contention that Kennedy killed the girl in a so-called fit of uncontrollable passion was a legally "reasonable" t…

An alert Erie County Sheriff's deputy foiled an alleged escape attempt Wednesday night at the county Holding Center by a Depew man facing trial in three Amherst rapes, officials confirmed today.Holding Center Superintendent Raul Russi and Undersheriff William Payne confirmed that the Sheriff's Department plans to lodge attempted-escape charges against Paul Moser, 24, …