Dressed in a suit and tie, Edward McCloud stood in a courtroom Thursday looking like a successful businessman, Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio said.
But McCloud’s trade for more than two decades has been street crime. And the judge, calling him a thug without conscience, sentenced him to the maximum 25 years to life in prison on his conviction for second-degree murder and first-degree robbery and burglary.
An Erie County Court jury in October convicted McCloud, 42, in the shooting death of Buffalo liquor store owner Armod R. Law during a Cheektowaga home invasion Nov. 12, 2011.
Jurors found that McCloud broke into Law’s West Grand Boulevard home, duct-taped the victim, stole property, slit Law’s throat and then shot him in the head with a handgun.
“Suffice it to say, Mr. McCloud, this was a horrific crime,” DiTullio said at the sentencing hearing. “You’re a cold-blooded murderer.”
McCloud’s past crimes date back to 1987 and include attempted robbery, weapons possession, drugs and escape, the judge said.
“You have no conscience, and you just don’t stop,” DiTullio added.
McCloud, of Person Street, did not speak at the hearing, but defense attorney Michael L. D’Amico told the judge that McCloud maintains his innocence.
“He does express sympathy for all of the victims in this case,” D’Amico said. “He does feel sorry for them.”
The victim’s family was not moved. “We don’t want any apologies,” said Benny Law, the murder victim’s father. “It won’t be accepted.”
The 37-year-old victim was the owner of Rashad’s Liquors on Broadway at the time of his death.
In his victim-impact statement, Benny Law said he could not understand why McCloud shot his son after finding money in the basement.
“Why did you do it?” Benny Law asked McCloud. “You didn’t have to do it.”
The father called McCloud “a dirty, low-down, cold-blooded, despicable murderer.”
“We’re angry,” he told the judge. “We’re very angry. Whatever you give him, Your Honor, he deserves every bit of it.”
Last month, DiTullio sentenced Rockie Jones III, 28, of Cheektowaga, to 17 years in prison for his role in the home invasion.
Jones, of Parkview Terrace, had pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon and testified at McCloud’s murder trial.
Homicide prosecutor Colleen Curtin Gable, who, with Assistant District Attorney Mary Beth DePasquale, prosecuted McCloud, built the case on McCloud’s DNA that was found on several items in the home invasion and on Jones’ cooperation.