Closing arguments in trial over beating of elderly man

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The fate of two Buffalo men, accused of beating an elderly church deacon to death, will soon be in the hands of a jury.

Closing arguments took place Monday in the murder trial of Shaquar Pratcher and Elhajji Elshabazz. Prosecutors say the defendants attacked 96-year-old Levi Clayton during a home invasion on the city’s east side in 2012. Clayton spent weeks in the hospital before he died.

One of the main issues in the trial is whether the beating of Levi Clayton led to his death four-and-a-half-months-later.

On Monday, prosecutors argued the men are responsible for Clayton’s death, saying the men were greedy and believed Clayton had hidden large amounts of money in his home.

But the defense argued Clayton’s advanced Alzheimer’s led to his death.

Two other teens have already pleaded guilty to robbery charges in connection with the break-in. Joseph Terranova, the attorney for Elhajji Elshabazz, says one of those men, Justice Feggans, was the real ringleader of the group.

“The only person who puts my client in the jackpot here is Justice Feggans and he is a skilled liar. He’s a home invader. And he needed to bolster his own deal. You don’t get deals for providing vaguness. You get deals by saying this person, put a name on it in the video,” Terranova said.

Judge Burns is expected to make a decision in the non-jury trial Wednesday morning. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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