DUNKIRK - A Buffalo man was arraigned Tuesday and charged with murder in the shooting death of a Dunkirk resident.
Chautauqua County District Attorney David W. Foley and Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano said Tuesday that Lawrence Carter, 26, was arraigned in Chautauqua County Court in Mayville after grand jury indictments were handed down charging Carter with first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in relation to the shooting death of Gabriel Guzman.
Guzman was found in an upper apartment at 506 Deer St. in Dunkirk following a 9-1-1 call on Oct. 21, 2008. Guzman was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy determined he died as a result of a gunshot wound.
Carter quickly became a suspect and was apprehended and jailed on an unrelated parole violation.
''We worked together very well the night of the incident and through our efforts we were able to develop leads which directed us to Mr. Carter,'' Foley said, also praising the Parole Department.
The county Public Defender's office is representing Carter. Bail for Carter has been set at $400,000 cash or $800,000 real property bond. A pre-motion conference has been scheduled for Feb. 2. If convicted of the first-degree murder charge, Carter faces a minimum period of 20 years to life in prison and a maximum penalty of life without parole.
Ortolano had praise for those involved in solving the case, citing the work of the Dunkirk police officers who responded to the initial call to the detectives who handled the investigation and the District Attorney's office for its assistance.
''We work very hard to solve cases of this magnitude because they are unsettling to the community,'' Ortolano said. ''The decisions that were made by the police department and district attorney's office to chart the course of this investigation gave us the ability to put together the best possible case to take to the Grand Jury and secure the best possible outcome on behalf of the victim, his family and the entire community.''
Ortolano said having Carter held on the parole violation gave investigators the time necessary to properly investigate the murder, preventing a rushed investigation. Foley said, with Carter in custody, investigators had between 100 and 120 days to complete the investigation.
Without a parole warrant, Carter would have had to be picked up on a felony warrant filed in local court, and within a certain number of days, investigators would have had to hold a preliminary hearing producing witnesses to testify.
Foley said one reason Carter was charged with first-degree murder was because of the commission of an enumerated felony at the time of the killing.
''What it did was it gave us time to put the case to a grand jury and save that step,'' Foley said. ''It was truly an advantage. At this time I'm going to release very little information. We're still at the beginning stages. I believe I know (the motive) but I'm just not at liberty to talk about it.''