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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Judge declines to unseal names of those involved in fatal stabbing of Tyler Lewis

The judge ruled that there was no “compelling” reason to release grand jury findings

<p>A New York State Supreme Court justice ruled against the Lewis family's motion on Thursday.&nbsp;</p>

A New York State Supreme Court justice ruled against the Lewis family's motion on Thursday. 

Grand jury documents containing the names of those involved in the fatal on-campus stabbing of Tyler Lewis will remain sealed, a State Supreme Court judge ruled Thursday.

Lewis’ mother, Roquishia Lewis, had asked the court to release that information so that she could list those involved as defendants in an ongoing civil suit. But State Supreme Justice  James Bargensi declined to unseal the confidential grand jury information, ruling that the Lewis family had largely “failed to show they made any effort to obtain the information from other sources unsuccessfully.” 

“While the circumstances of this case are compelling and tragic, without more, the motion does not support the extreme remedy of unsealing the grand jury minutes for any reason,” Bargensi wrote in his court order. 

Roquishia Lewis was informed of the court order on Thursday by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. 

“They questioned whether I went through other measures,” Roquishia Lewis told The Spectrum. “All John Flynn has done through this entire process is aggravate a grieving mother. He isn’t here for us.”

Roquishia Lewis had unsuccessfully tried to obtain the names of those involved by subpoenaing the DA’s Office, Bargnesi noted in his court order before concluding that the Lewis family had not exhausted all other avenues of obtaining that information. 

A spokesperson for the DA’s Office had announced earlier this month  that they  wouldn’t oppose a “limited” disclosure  of information from the grand jury session, including the names of those involved. 

Tyler Lewis, a sophomore business student at Buffalo State University, was stabbed outside of the Ellicott Complex in October 2022. Investigators concluded that the stabbing was the result of a marijuana deal that broke out into a fight and was therefore “justifiable” under New York State self-defense laws.

Tyler Lewis was 19 years old at the time of his death. 

Kayla Estrada is a senior news editor and can be reached at kayla.estrada@ubspectrum.com   


KAYLA ESTRADA
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Kayla Estrada is the opinion editor at The Spectrum. She is an English major who enjoys rainy weather, “Bob’s Burgers” and asking people who they voted for. When she’s not writing, she can be found hunting for odd-looking knick-knacks at the nearest thrift store.  

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