Is An Admitted Killer Being Protected And Allowed To Walk Free In Buffalo?
Is a known and admitted killer being protected and not being held accountable for taking a young man's life? A family who has been seeking justice for the murder of their son has been told by a grand jury that there will be no justice given to them. The District Attorney in Buffalo has stated that he considers a homicide closed, even though the main suspect is known to law enforcement.
Nothing. No responsibility legally, whatsoever
I spoke with Tyler Lewis' mother, who described the sophomore college student as sweet. She said he was her favorite person. The pain in her voice was heartbreaking as she spoke about the loss of her only son. Roquishia Lewis, Tyler's mom, said that he was going to school for business and that he wanted to be a real estate mogul.
ROQUISHIA LEWIS, THE MOTHER OF TYLER LEWIS, SPEAKS WITH YASMIN YOUNG
Deadly Stabbing Of College Student At University At Buffalo Still Not Solved
A mother and family are still fighting to get closure and justice in the murder case of their beloved son, nephew, and grandson. It has been 5 months to the day since 19-year-old Buffalo State College sophomore Tyler Lewis was murdered at the North Campus of the University at Buffalo on October 14, 2022.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, claims that he presented the evidence in the case to a grand jury, which declined to proceed with any charges against the known suspect. But here are the facts that we know, straight from D.A. Flynn:
- There is a known suspect, who was never arrested
- The suspect is a white male between the ages of 19 and 22
- The murder took place during an alleged drug deal that included the victim and the suspect
- The known suspect stabbed Tyler in the chest after he claims Tyler tried to use counterfeit bills and allegedly punched him
- Law enforcement knows where the homicide happened and the routes taken in the crime
- They "know where the bodies are at"
- They know where the evidence is, but they don't have the knife
- They never recovered the marijuana from the alleged drug deal
- The suspect intentionally cleaned his vehicle, inevitably removing evidence, before turning it over to police
- The suspect discarded or hid the murder weapon
All of the info above was provided by D.A. Flynn himself in the video below:
D.A. Flynn stated matter-of-factly,
I cannot go forward with the prosecution of this case and this matter is closed.
If this is in fact a case of "self-defense," since D.A. Flynn alleges that the suspect was punched by the victim, New York State law does not necessarily give the suspect the right to use deadly force. Penal Law §35.15 states,
A person may not use deadly physical force upon another person under circumstances specified in subdivision one unless:
(a) The actor reasonably believes that such other person is using or about to use deadly physical force. Even in such case, however, the actor may not use deadly physical force if he or she knows that with complete personal safety, to oneself and others he or she may avoid the necessity of so doing by retreating.
I, admittedly, am no lawyer, but it would seem that stabbing a person in the chest in retaliation for a punch, is excessive. Again, I'm not an attorney, this is just my personal layman's interpretation of the law. There was no mention by D.A. Flynn during his press conference about if the suspect did in fact wholeheartedly believe that his life was in danger and that he could not retreat by getting out of the vehicle. We will have to wait and see if the D.A.'s office ever reveals any details about why the suspect did not leave the situation, rather than using deadly force.
When it comes to the grand jury process in Erie County, it is a secretive process, so there is no way to verify what evidence the D.A.'s office may have presented to jurors or potentially left out. Although D.A. Flynn claims that he put "enough" evidence in front of the grand jury, we do not know what that evidence is, and neither does Tyler's mom or her attorney. Also, "enough" evidence may imply that not ALL the evidence was presented. Victims' families can only hope that all the evidence was presented fairly with the goal of seeking justice, but they have no way of knowing for sure.
In a felony case in Erie County,
The Grand Jury is made up of 23 jurors. It is a secret proceeding, meaning it is not open to the public. There is no judge and no defendant or defense attorney present. When testifying before the Grand Jury, only the A.D.A , the jurors and a court stenographer will be in the room.
The grand jury has the ability to move the case along to trial, decide there is not enough evidence for a felony and send the case back to the city or town court for prosecution as a misdemeanor, or, as in Tyler's case, determine that,
The evidence presented is not sufficient for any further court action and dismisses the charges. This vote is a no bill.
The family has many questions about whether justice was actually being sought for Tyler or if it was just a "dog and pony" show because Tyler's mom has been very outspoken and even sent an email to the D.A.'s office. The family hired a private investigator to gather evidence in the case after law enforcement in Buffalo was not moving fast enough for them.
Roquishia, Tyler's mom, says the only concern that investigators had is how did she get the information she has. D.A. Flynn acknowledges that Roquishia sent an email to his office letting them know that she had tape-recorded all of their conversations. He claims that his "instincts, which are usually right" told him not to "get in the weeds" with the victim's family. Is it counterproductive for law enforcement to withhold information from victims' families? It does seem like the mistrust goes in both directions.
However much D.A. Flynn might take issue with his office's calls being recorded, in New York State, it is Tyler's mom's legal right to record a call, as long as she is an active part of that call,
New York is a one-party consent state. This means that only one party must consent to the recording of an in-person or telephone conversation. In other words, if you are a party to the conversation, you may record without the other person’s consent.
Can a district attorney, who is tasked with seeking justice for a victim, do that fairly and righteously, if he or she doesn't trust the victim's family?
The Univerity at Buffalo released a statement after the grand jury's decision, Chris Bartolomei, UB chief of police said,
During the many months of this investigation, we extend our appreciation to our law enforcement partners from across the region for their assistance during this comprehensive investigation, including the Office of the Erie County District Attorney, New York State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Town of Amherst Police and Erie County Central Police Services. To Tyler’s family and friends: the investigators, officers and staff within the University Police continue to extend their sincerest condolences.
It's unsettling to know that an admitted killer, who allegedly got rid of evidence - cleaning the scene of the crime and is potentially withholding evidence - the knife, was never arrested. D.A. Flynn said there was no arrest because there was no indictment, but in many violent crimes, a suspect IS arrested for an alleged crime, then indicted. The suspect has been allowed to go free, with no consequences, whatsoever, for taking a young college student's life. The D.A.'s office released a statement on Facebook.
If what happened to Tyler happened to anyone else's son, whether they are law enforcement or not, they too would be disgusted at the thought of his killer walking away from any accountability scot-free. Again, we may never know what evidence was actually submitted to the grand jury in this case, just that the D.A. considered it "enough," since there is no legal requirement for transparency. My heart breaks for Tyler's mother, his father, and his loved ones. It seems they aren't getting much help seeking justice for him.