Falls man admits role in murder and takes plea deal

·2 min read

Jul. 17—A Falls man, accused as an accomplice in a 2020 murder, has pleaded guilty to a weapons charge in Niagara County Court.

Rohmeo Lewis, 21, entered his plea to a single count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon during a Friday afternoon hearing before Niagara County Court Judge John Ottaviano. In return for his plea, Ottaviano told Lewis that he would cap his possible prison sentence at 7 years.

A Niagara County grand jury had originally indicted Lewis on single counts of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the July 21, 2020 slaying of Nathan Craft. Police and prosecutors had identified Lewis as "an accomplice" in Craft's murder.

Lewis' co-defendant, Geoffrey O. Sandiford, pleaded guilty, in June 2021, to single counts of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He had been identified as the triggerman who gunned down Craft during an afternoon rush hour confrontation on Ferry Avenue.

Prosecutors contended that Lewis was with Saniford during the confrontation with Craft and they allege he told his co-defendant "Go get the gun and shoot that guy."

Craft's murder was one of two, in a a 16-hour period, on July 21, 2020.

Falls Police detectives said Craft 29, was shot on Ferry Avenue near 12th Street, at around 5:35 p.m., and was found lying in a pool of blood between his car and the curb. He was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

From the beginning of their investigation, detectives said that Craft had apparently been involved in a fight and was then shot "several times."

Falls detectives, assisted by members of the U.S. Marshals Felony Fugitive Task Force, took Sandiford into custody six days after the slaying, without incident, in Avoca, N.Y., a town in the northwest corner of Steuben County.

After his guilty plea, retired State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. sentenced Sandiford, 21, to a prison term of 15 years and five years of post release supervision.

Lewis is the twin brother of Rohmelo Lewis, who was indicted by a Niagara County grand jury on June 30 in connection with a series of robberies and shootings that left one man dead between the early morning hours of May 3 and the early morning hours of May 5.

Rohmelo Lewis, 21, faces two counts of second-degree murder, four counts of first-degree robbery, one count of second-degree assault and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.