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Buffalo man accused of witness tampering

Mike Desmond/WBFO

A Buffalo man is in the Erie County Holding Center after he was charged Monday with witness tampering in a murder case.

Paulino Rodriguez allegedly intimidated a key witness into changing his story which officials say led to the acquittal of Edwin Vasquez.

"An employee of my office was guarding the witness and the allegation is that Mr. Rodriguez intimidated the witness in the manner that I have described, i.e., right in front of my investigator," said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

Flynn said the incident was also captured on surveillance cameras. He said the witness testimony changed from morning to afternoon after verbal abuse from Rodriguez.
"Then, the witness/victim went back in the courtroom that afternoon to continue his testimony in the Vazquez case," Flynn recounted. 

"Let's just be safe to say that his testimony was now not the same as it was previously."

County Judge Susan Eagan remanded Rodriguez without bail. The charges carry up to seven years in prison, although Eagan was told Rodriguez has a serious felony record and that could mean more jail time.

Flynn said no matter what happens to Rodriguez, Vazquez' acquittal stands.