BELMONT — Five of eight people accused in the brutal beating death of a Wellsville man in March will be sentenced in March for their roles in the homicide.
The Allegany County District Attorney’s Office reported that on Jan. 13, five defendants in connection to the March 22 slaying of 23-year-old Nicholas Burdge entered pleas as part of deals before county court Judge Thomas Brown:
- Dylan L. Coomer, 26 at the time of the homicide, pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter, a class B felony. Coomer is facing a possible sentence of 16 years in prison and four years of post-release supervision, prosecutors said.
Coomer was originally charged in March with second-degree murder, a class A felony; and first-degree manslaughter, a class B felony. He was additionally charged in July with second-degree conspiracy, first-degree gang assault and second-degree kidnapping, all class B felonies.
- Lawrence Haxton III, then 34, pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter, with prosecutors saying he faces eight to 10 years in prison and five years of post-release supervision at sentencing.
Haxton was initially charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter immediately following the homicide.
- Kristopher Delill, then 38, pled guilty to second-degree assault, a class D felony; and prosecutors said Delill is facing two to seven years in prison in the plea agreement.
Delill was charged in March with murder and manslaughter, with the assault charge being filed in August.
- An 18-year-old man, who was 17 at the time and has a youthful offender status pending, pled guilty to third-degree assault, a class A misdemeanor. Such a charge is punishable by up to a year in jail for adults, but that is uncertain due to the potential for youthful offender status.
The unidentified man was first charged in August.
- Richelle L. Kyser, then 28, entered an Alford-Serrano plea to one count of second-degree attempted gang assault, a class D felony.
Under state law, a defendant may issue a plea refusing to admit guilt, but admitting that enough evidence may be presented that a guilty verdict from a jury would be likely. Such pleas are treated the same as a guilty plea.
Kyser was originally charged with tampering with physical evidence, a class E felony, and charged in August with first-degree gang assault, a class B felony.
Prosecutors accuse the group of being involved in the beating death of Burdge in a Wellsville residence before securing his body in a bedsheet and plastic garbage bags and dumping it in the Genesee River. The body was found March 22 near the Jack Bridge Road bridge in the town of Willing.
Sentencing for all five is set for March 24 — almost a year to the day after the death of Burdge.
Three more defendants are awaiting further court dates.
- Howard Burroughs has entered a plea of not guilty for charges including second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy, first-degree gang assault and second-degree kidnapping.
- The case against Brandon J. Poehmel, then 21, for second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy, first-degree gang assault and second-degree kidnapping, has been adjourned.
- A 17-year-old boy, who was 16 at the time of the homicide, is awaiting the assignment of a new attorney as prosecutors levy similar charges.