A 28-year-old Cheektowaga man was sentenced Wednesday to 17 years in prison for his role in a home invasion in the town that resulted in a resident’s violent death a year ago.
Rockie Jones III, 28, of Parkview Terrace, had pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon. Jones also recently testified at the murder trial of Edward McCloud, the gunman in the home invasion.
A jury convicted McCloud of second-degree murder for fatally shooting Armod R. Law, 37, owner of Rashad’s Liquors on Broadway.
Law was shot in the head Nov. 12 in his home on West Grand Boulevard in Cheektowaga.
Jones went to Law’s home expecting to participate in a burglary, not a killing, said defense lawyer Susan M. Karalus.
“He will have to live with this the rest of his life,” Karalus told Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio.
“I didn’t mean for that to happen,” an apologetic Jones said of the crime. But he said his words could not change what happened.
In her victim-impact statement, Lillie Law tearfully told the judge how her late son could be counted on taking her to medical appointments and being there for her whenever she asked.
“All I had to do was call,” she said.
She recounted how she pushed her son during his formative years and that he attended Grambling State University in Louisiana.
“They didn’t only take my son’s life; they took two lives. They took my life,” she said.
“It just hurts,” she said. “Nobody knows how I feel but the Lord.”
During the sentencing, DiTullio cited Jones’ long criminal history. His crime left a family sad and traumatized, she said.
The judge sentenced Jones to 10 years for the manslaughter conviction and seven years for the weapons count, with the sentences to be served consecutively.
“So you will serve 17 years,” DiTullio told Jones.
The judge credited him for fully cooperating in the prosecution against McCloud.
“You were painfully honest,” she said to Jones regarding his “chilling testimony.”
McCloud, 41, of Person Street, who was convicted of second-degree murder and first-degree burglary and robbery counts, faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 6.
“McCloud had the gun, but you were clearly an accomplice to this tragic crime,” DiTullio said.