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Ernesto Arechavaleta-Taureaux suffered from delusions that his co-workers at a downtown Delaware Avenue restaurant were members of a child-sex trafficking ring who wanted to kill him.

So the dishwasher brought a gun to Merge restaurant on Jan. 16, 2010, and opened fire, killing the sous-chef, wounding the manager and narrowly missing the chef who disarmed him.

It turns out that Daniel A. Church, the man who disarmed him, was convicted in 2006 in Niagara County for possessing child pornography.

But Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said Church’s background did not play a role in the shootings.

“We looked into that carefully to see if it was a triggering device” that contributed to the attack, Sedita said. But authorities found no evidence indicating the defendant knew about Church’s conviction.

Following the shootings, Arechavaleta-Taureaux spent three years receiving treatment at the Central New York Psychiatric Center near Utica. Arechavaleta-Taureaux never mentioned Church’s conviction when discussing his delusions with psychiatrists, Sedita said.

Sedita called it “just a coincidence” that Church was among those who Arechavaleta-Taureaux wrongly believed belonged to a child-sex trafficking ring out to kill him.

He was charged with murder and attempted murder, but a judge this week found him to be mentally ill and not responsible for his actions the day of the attack. The judge committed him to the care of the state mental health commissioner.

The judge acted after psychiatric experts for the prosecution and defense concluded that at the time of the shootings Arechavaleta-Taureaux had a delusional disorder and did not understand the wrongfulness of his conduct.

In September 2006, Church was sentenced to 10 years’ probation by a Niagara County Court judge for possession of child pornography. Forty-three images were found on his computer. In May 2011, Church was taken to Niagara County Jail on $1,000 bail on a charge of violating that probation by providing an underage woman with alcohol the month before at his home in Bergholz.

email: jstaas@buffnews.com