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Sanchez Pleads Innocent to First Murder Charge

By Eileen Buckley


Buffalo, NY – The man who law enforcement agencies say is the bike path rapist was arraigned on murder charges in an Erie County Court room Tuesday morning.

Altemio Sanchez, 48, pleaded not guilty to one count of second degree murder before County Court Judge Michael D'Amico. He entered the court wearing a black jacket and jeans. His wife and son were also in the courtroom.

Sanchez was arrested Monday and authorities say they are certain he is the man who committed a number of attacks tracing back to the 1980s as well as three murders. Tuesday, Sanchez was charged only with the 1992 murder of Majane Mazur. Investigators say DNA directly links Sanchez this case, including the murders of Joan Diver of Clarence and UB Student Linda Yalem.

Sanchez's attorney, Andrew LoTempio says his client denies the charges.

LoTempio has requested that DNA samples from the cases be provided so they can conduct their own testing.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark says he is not surprised that Sanchez is pleading innocent to the charges.

Clark says the reason Sanchez is being charged with the Mazur murder first, instead of Yalem's, deals with DNA testing.

Lotempio says Sanchez's arrest and accusations that he is the bike path killer is a shock to both him and his family. Both the wife and son left the courthouse with no comment for reporters.