Antoine Mattox, a Buffalo man accused of beating his wife to death in March, declined Monday morning to accept a plea deal of manslaughter and a fixed 25-year sentence, instead choosing to go to trial and face a charge of second-degree murder.
If he is convicted, Mattox will face a minimum of 25 years in prison and possibly a life sentence.
Mattox, who is behind bars, appeared in court Monday and confirmed to Judge Sheila A. DiTullio that he understood the terms of the deal and the consequences of declining it. DiTullio said jury selection for the trial would begin Jan. 2.
Mattox’s attorney, Joseph Terranova, said his client had asked him to pursue the plea deal, but Mattox changed his mind Friday afternoon. Prosecutors were expecting the plea to happen Monday.
“It was a favorable plea under the circumstances,” Terranova said.
“But he didn’t want it, and we’ll go to trial.”
Mattox, 32, was arrested hours after police found the body of Nedra E. Thomas-Mattox, his wife of 10 years, in their Bailey-Kensington home March 11. At the time, police said Mattox confessed to the crime.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 17 to determine whether the confession will be admissible in court.