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Man sentenced for killing family friend, setting house on fire

Ashley Hirtzel

David Meyers was sentenced to 20 years-to-life in prison in Erie County court Tuesday. Meyers, 19, admitted to bludgeoning 52-year-old Brian Dombek to death and setting fire to his South Buffalo home back in March to cover up the crime.

Dombek was a friend of Meyers’ family. Meyers pleaded guilty to murder and arson. Dombek’s dog also died in the blaze.

Meyers' attorney Nicholas Hicks says the situation spiraled out of control after the two men got into an argument while drinking.

“There were some allegations that the deceased gentleman made some desparadging remarks about Jewish people and my client is Jewish. He asked him to stop making those remarks, his grandfather had been in the [concentration] camps and it just kept escalating, unfortunately,” said Hicks.

During the sentencing, Meyers apologized to Dombek’s family.

“I am truthfully sorry that I did this…There’s nothing I can do to fix it. If I could, if it was possible in reality, if I could go back and make up for what I did, I would. I would give an arm and a leg, but I can’t. I agree. I do deserve to be incarcerated. I committed a crime,” said Meyers.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita says the sentence was appropriate considering the nature of the crime.

“When you’re committing crimes of that level, of that nature, with that degree of violence, and that degree of heinousness the law recognizes you should help fully accountable for that kind of conduct,” said Sedita.

Megan Schuh, a close friend of Meyers, made a statement after the sentencing, saying Dombek started the argument with racial comments. Schuh said Meyers’ actions that night we’re “out of character.” She maintains that he’s a “good hearted person who probably would have went somewhere in life.”

Schuh said Meyers does need to “pay for his crime,” but she never thought she would be seeing him go to prison for murder. She said he had aspirations to become a police officer, but it’s unclear if he’ll ever have a life outside of prison.