Teen indicted on murder, criminal sex act charges

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A teen was in court Tuesday over the murder of 13-year-old Ameer Al Shammari, who was found dead in a field off Amherst Street in the City of Buffalo on May 2.

Jean Sanchez, 13, was arraigned on an indictment charging him with second-degree murder, first-degree criminal sex act and first-degree petit larceny in Erie County Court.

PHOTO GALLERY | Indictment of 13-year-old Jean Sanchez

Ameer was a seventh grader at Waterfront Elementary School. He had recently done well in school and his parents had rewarded him with a new iPhone. Buffalo Police believe Ameer was murdered over that cell phone.

Ameer Al ShammariSanchez is accused of strangling Ameer. If convicted, he could face a maximum prison sentence of nine years to life.

Assistant Erie County District Attorney Paul Parisi says Sanchez confessed to this crime.

“The DNA results corroborate the confession and indicate he is in fact the person who committed this crime and there’s video evidence that suggests that the defendant and the victim walked to where the victim was killed, together, prior to the crime.”

But Sanchez’s attorney, Paul Dell, believes that confession was coerced.

“We have a hearing scheduled to contest the statement and its voluntariness, and at some point, I’ll be making a motion to remove the case to Family Court as well.”

Dell continued, “It’s extremely unusual to even deal with a 13-year-old as a witness, let alone as a defendant.”

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