A 23-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to attempted bribing of a witness, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Nikole L. Ward admitted offering $1,000 to a witness in a Black Rock home invasion case if the witness did not testify against burglary defendants Lonnie A. Spears, 28, and Andrew Spears, 25.
Ward faces up to four years in prison when sentenced by Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case on April 1.
The witness alerted the District Attorney’s Office and testified at the trial.
Andrew Spears was eventually convicted of first-degree robbery, and Lonnie Spears was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Both crimes are violent felonies.
“Crimes like witness bribery and witness intimidation are an attack upon the integrity of the criminal justice system and must be dealt with in a firm and resolute manner,” District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said. “I trust that our local judiciary agrees with this sentiment and sentences such felons accordingly.”
Lonnie Spears was sentenced to 12 years in prison as a second-time violent felony offender, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Andrew Spears has yet to be sentenced, because he is challenging his status as a second-time violent felony offender.