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Convicted killer Lewis sentenced to 131 years in prison

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Michael Mroziak, WBFO
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For multiple shootings he committed since 2014, two of which were fatal, a 19-year-old Buffalo man will spend the rest of his life in prison. Judge Kenneth Case sentenced Diamond Lewis on Thursday to 131 years in prison.

Before speaking in detail about the numerous shootings for which Lewis was convicted, Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case made clear he would show no leniency.

"I'm going to impose a sentence today that you deserve and a sentence that this community and law enforcement deserve to see imposed," said Judge Case to Lewis in the courtroom. "Justice must be served."

For the October 2014 murder of David Skipper and the June 2015 murder of Alonzo Green, Lewis received consecutive sentences of 25 years to life. But Judge Case wasn't done. He imposed additional consecutive sentences for more than a dozen other counts that, when the years add up, ensure the convicted killer will never again live as a free man.

Lewis was also convicted for shootings that left six people serious injured, all of whom were bystanders.

"You paralyzed a young father," Case said to Lewis. "You shot a young woman five times. You shot two other young men. You shot a young female college student who was just dropping off her brother at the store and because the bullet is still lodged in her back, she will not be able to fulfill her dream of becoming a dancer. You shot a young girl who was walking to the corner store with her grandmother."

The latter victim was only 13 years old when she was struck by gunfire intended for a group of men standing nearby.

Lewis did not speak when allowed the opportunity. But relatives of two victims did, including the mother of David Skipper. Leatha Spikes expressed her satisfaction and told reporters in the hall that she wants to see Lewis serve his entire sentence, "even his bones."

She was not surprised Lewis, who stood stoically throughout the proceedings, had nothing to say.

"Basically, it's too late for him and he knew it," Spikes said. "I think reality set in and he really didn't have nothing to say."

His court-appointed attorney, John Gilmour, says his client anticipated hearing a lengthy sentence. But it appears Lewis will challenge it.

"He maintains that he's innocent and he looks forward to filing his appeal," Gilmour said outside the courtroom.

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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