After Snow Delay, Conklin Teen Expected to Plead Guilty in Buffalo Massacre
A guilty plea from a Broome County teen in the Buffalo supermarket killings last spring is back on track.
After a delay due to the historic snowstorm that buried Buffalo on November 18-20, the Conklin teen who is accused of targeting a supermarket in a predominately Black neighborhood in Erie County in a murderous rampage is expected to plead guilty November 28 to New York State charges.
19-year-old Peyton Gendron is accused of intentionally targeting Black people at the Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo in May, killing 10 and wounding three others.
Lawyers for the victims' families told the Associated Press that they were told weeks ago that Gendron plans to plead guilty to all counts in a 25-count grand jury indictment that includes a charge of domestic terrorism motivated by hate. Initially, the teen was expected to appear in Erie County Court on November 21, but that appearance was waylaid by the over six feet of snow that fell on Western New York starting overnight November 17,
Gendron is named in a 25-count indictment, and the victim family lawyers told the Associated Press it’s expected the white Broome County teen will be sentenced to life in prison without parole on the state charges.
A grand jury in June indicted Gendron on charges of murder and attempted murder, as well as state domestic terrorism and hate crime charges that would carry a mandatory life sentence.
Gendron also faces separate federal hate crime that could carry the death penalty.
Gendron allegedly drove about three hours to Buffalo from his home in Conklin intending to kill as many Black people as possible at a store he chose because of its location in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Shortly before opening fire with an AR-15-style rifle on May 14, he posted documents that outlined his white supremacist views and revealed the attack had been planned for months.
The victims, who ranged in age from 32 to 86, included eight customers, the store security guard and a church deacon who drove shoppers to and from the store with their groceries. Three people were wounded but survived.