Charges against a Buffalo man who was indicted on charges of arson for starting a fire in City Hall will be dropped. Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced his plan to dismiss the charge. He instructed Assistant District Attorney Nicholas C. Bussi to move to dismiss the charges against the 22-year-old since he has been sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for the crime. On Thursday, January 20, 2022, Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio dismissed the charges.

Courtland Renford will spend half a decade behind bars for one count of Arson in the Third Degree and one count of Burglary in the Third Degree. On Saturday, May 30, 2020, Renford threw a burning box through a window in City Hall in downtown Buffalo during the George Floyd murder protests. The fire damaged floors and walls in the historic building but was quickly extinguished by the Buffalo Fire Department. Late that evening, Renford and others stole a drink and cigarettes from a convenience store on Elmwood Avenue.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said,

Despite the serious nature of these offenses, I sought to dismiss this case in the interest of justice as justice has already been served by this defendant being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. This defendant pleaded guilty and received a significant sentence of 5 years in federal prison. Therefore, I will no longer be seeking a conviction against this defendant.

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