A Tonawanda man is facing 205 years in prison after a jury has found him guilty. Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced that a jury has found the 31-year-old man guilty of one count of Murder in the Second Degree, six counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree.

Erie County District Attorney's Office
Erie County District Attorney's Office

Matthew R. Gerwitz of City of Tonawanda was also found guilty of two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and three counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree. he was convicted of all 12 counts against him. It took jurors only 5 hours to render their decision on Tuesday, September 26, 2023. The trial lasted 8 days.

The violent murder and attempted murders that Gerwitz committed took place three years ago. On Monday, May 26, 2020, at approximately 1:10 am he intentionally killed 32-year-old Joseph Marasco. The homicide happened on the corner of Morgan Street and Clinton Street in the City of Tonawanda. Gerwitz shot Marasco with an illegal gun by shooting him in the torso. The victim was transported to Erie County Medical Center where he later died from his injuries. Gerwitz did not know Marasco.

After shooting Marasco, Gerwitz drove away from the scene. He returned to the area at around 3:37 am and went back into his apartment on Morgan Street. Police were in the area investigating the murder. While inside his home, Gerwitz fired multiple shots at four officers outside using an illegal rifle. He struck one of the officers, who was wearing a bulletproof vest. The officer was taken to ECMC and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Credit: WGRZ-TV

Gerwitz tried to flee the scene in a vehicle and exchanged gunfire with two officers who were pursuing him. After a short high speed chase, police were able to apprehend him by ramming his car with their vehicles on Morgan Street near Kohler Street. Police also found three additional illegal handguns inside Gerwitz home.

Gerwitz will be sentenced before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 10:00 am. He is being held without bail.

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