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Stevenson arraigned in deaths of girlfriend and her son

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The man accused of killing his live-in girlfriend and her son in their Cheektowaga apartment last month appeared in State Supreme Court Wednesday morning, arraigned on an Erie County grand jury indictment.

Shane Stevenson, 31, entered a plea of not guilty to a single count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder. He remains held without bail.


Prosecuting attorney Colleen Curtin Gable explained that the first-degree charge covers both victims while each second-degree murder count covers an individual victim. Also presented in State Supreme Court was a disc featuring recorded statements by Stevenson.

"I can't get into what any of the evidence is, with respect to either statements he made, or motive," Curtin Gable said. "It just isn't proper to do that at this point."

Judge Russell Buscaglia also granted a defense request for Stevenson to undergo a forensic examination, something Curtin Gable explained was an effort to determine whether the defendant is mentally fit to stand trial. 

Stevenson is accused of killing 30-year-old Raina Voll and one of her two sons, 7-year-old Leo Klinger, in their French Road apartment on September 15. Voll's second child was found abandoned though unharmed in the back lot of a Union Road church. That child's father, who was also the father of the slain boy, has since been caring for the toddler.

Nearly a half dozen of Voll's family and loved ones were in court but did not comment, nor did attorney John Gilmour, who has been appointed to represent Stevenson for the time being.

It's a case that, if it goes to trial, could prove very emotional, even for the lawyers involved.

"Any case involving the death of a child is emotional and yet, it's not about me. It's about the family and the loved ones," Curtin Gable said. "I'm a prosecutor and it's my job to prosecute these cases but, of course, when there's a child and a young mother involved, it's a slightly different kind of case."

Stevenson is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on the morning of December 19.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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