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Buffalo man pleads guilty in Lisbon Avenue 'drug/gang' murder

Mike Desmond

What apparently was a street beef nearly a year ago led to the death of a young Buffalo man. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said the murder will now probably lead to heavy jail time.

Anthony Moore, 19, has pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter and faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced in October.

He pleaded guilty to giving Damoni Alexander, 18, an illegal gun and encouraging him to fatally shoot Brandon Williams, 20, during a dispute on Lisbon Avenue Sept. 28, 2018.

Flynn said Moore was originally charged with murder and illegal possession of a weapon, but manslaughter is what he could get.

"In general, okay, I, in general, may have grand jury testimony where the person says, 'A, B, C.' Now that person has skipped town on me,: Flynn said. "At trial, I can still use their grand jury testimony at trial, but obviously, it's not powerful. I've got one of my lawyers reading the record of what they said. It's just not the same."

Flynn said there have been a lot of what he called "drug/gang cases."

"If I have a witness go south on me because they're afraid to testify and they don't want to testify, then I have to get whatever I can get," he said, "and so, sometimes I've got to just get a Man One so I get something on a case."

Flynn said he cannot comment too much because Moore yet to be sentenced. He said there are serious witness issues in many of these cases.

"If you've seen one of these gang/slash/drug cases, and I'm giving a man over a murder, there's probably a good reason for that," Flynn said, "and the reason probably is one of my witnesses is afraid to come to court and doesn't want to testify."

Alexander and Moore are being held without bail awaiting sentencing, Alexander on Oct. 3 and Moore on Oct. 11.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.