BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Four men who robbed an elderly church deacon in Buffalo, who then later died, are going to prison.
State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns had little mercy for the men responsible for the death of 96-year-old Levi Clayton.
He said, “This court hopes that you live to be 96 and think about Mr. Clayton every day.”
A surveillance camera outside of Clayton’s home showed Shaquar Pratcher and Elhajji Elshabazz pull up to the house and then break in through a window. The elderly man tried to defend himself by throwing a lamp.
Jordan McKinnon was the getaway driver. The robbery came from an idea they got from Justice Feggans after learning there may be drugs and cash in the house.
Feggans said, “Every day I have to live with this nightmare that I was a part of something that ended somebody’s life.”
Feegans and McKinnon escaped murder charges after they provided information that led to the arrests of Pratcher and Elshabazz.
Their lawyers asked for leniency. Pratcher’s lawyer Joel Daniels maintained that the beating did not cause Clayton’s death.
“The medical records seem to be crystal clear that Mr. Clayton died from end-stage dementia and we believe based on the testimony of our expert that this was unrelated to those fractures he sustained some four-and-a-half months earlier,” Daniels said in court.
Justice Burns sentenced Pratcher and Elshabazz to 25 years to life for murder.
Feggans was sentenced to 15 years in prison; McKinnon received right years in prison.
Justice Burns said, “You and your friends denied a decent man, minding his own business, you denied him the privilege of a peaceful death.”
Clayton was a church deacon and a World War II Veteran.