BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Joseph Gant, 29, was sentenced Wednesday morning to at least 35 years in prison for fatally shooting a 14 year-old boy. His sentencing occurred one year to the day after the shooting.
Gant was sentenced to 25 years to life on a 2nd degree murder conviction, plus another 10 years for three attempted murder convictions. He was also sentenced to five years in prison for criminal possession of a weapon, which will run concurrently with the sentence for the attempted murder convictions.
Gant fired his pistol ten times and one of those bullets killed Raymond Floyd Patterson III after he was hit in the back while running away from the gunfire. Three other teenagers were wounded.
Gant, who had no prior felony convictions, has said he acted in self-defense when he shot a gun multiple times into a group of people last August. He maintained that during his sentencing Wednesday morning.
“I’m asking the court to consider the way he’s lived his life up until this point when reading out his sentence. This is a man who, if need be, can be rehabilitated, judge. He’s not a criminal, he’s a person who committed a crime due to the circumstances in which he found himself,” Gant’s attorney, Sam Davis, said.
“This defendant brought terror, violence and death to a city neighborhood in broad daylight on a summer afternoon and for that, it’s our opinion that he must pay a heavy price,” countered Erie County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Curtin Gable.
The incident happened in the afternoon at the footbridge on Oakmont Avenue, which goes over Rt. 33 near Roosevelt Park at the Langfield Homes on the city’s east side.