Landlord arraigned on murder charge

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – A landlord will be arraigned on a second-degree murder indictment Tuesday. Thomas M. Szczesniak, 54, is accused of killing his tenant on Woodell Avenue in October.

Szczesniak allegedly shot Joseph P. Lawrence, 54, in the stomach. Lawrence was found laying in the driveway, before he was taken to Erie County Medical Center. He died during surgery.

In October, Cheektowaga Police Captain Scott Pilat said, “They were also friends, acquaintances, there was an argument in the driveway and a single gunshot.”

Police haven’t said if they know what the men were arguing about before the shot was fired.

If convicted of this crime, Szczesniak faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years to life.

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