Landlord’s case to go to grand jury

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – An Erie County Grand Jury will take up the case against a landlord accused of murdering one of his tenants. Thomas Szczesniak waived his right to a felony hearing Wednesday.

Police said he shot 54-year-old Joseph Lawrence outside a house on Woodell Avenue in Cheektowaga last Friday. Lawrence later died at ECMC.

Investigators said three men were arguing in the driveway before the shooting. A defense attorney said there’s more to the story.

Defense Attorney James Auricchio said, “I think we’re going to hear a much different side of the story than what’s been presented. If they do a thorough investigation we’re going to hear a much different narrative than what the police department has.”

“These men, from what we can see, were acquainted with one another. They were friends on some level. And something went wrong,” said James Bargnesi, assistant Erie County district attorney.

Szczesniak is charged with second-degree murder. 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s