Charges upgraded to murder for Cheektowaga man

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The man accused of severely beating a 19-year-old who later died from his injuries is now facing more serious charges.

Cody Jeffords, 21, was taken into custody May 25, the same night he’s accused of beating Justin Vanderwalker at an apartment complex off Slate Creek Drive in Cheektowaga.

The assault, police said, happened over an ex-girlfriend.

Authorities said Justin was was visiting the young woman at her apartment that night, and that Jeffords showed up unexpectedly and began beating him.

Police said they found Justin down in the street when they arrived at approximately 10 p.m.

He was taken to ECMC, and taken off life support three days later.

Jeffords was arrested and charged with felony assault, pending a mental health evaluation.

He was due in Cheektowaga Court Friday morning. However, he was arraigned on the upgraded charges Thursday, and taken back to the Erie County Holding Center, where he remained without bail.

The mental health evaluation for Jeffords was expected to be part of the precedings today, but it’s now expected to be presented to the court sometime next week, as soon as Monday. 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.

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