BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross and area law enforcement hosted a press conference Thursday evening to discuss the guilty verdict in the trial of Deandre Wilson. The full presser can be viewed at the bottom of this page.
Wilson was found guilty on Thursday in the September 2019 murders of Miguel Valentin-Colon and Nicole Merced-Plaud.
The bodies were found after a little boy named Noelvin, the victims’ son, was discovered on a porch on Potomac Avenue. His parents’ bodies were found shot to death in a burned-out van, nearly half a mile away on Tonawanda Street. The remains of a third victim, Dhamyl Roman-Audiffred, were found on Box Avenue.
All three victims hailed from Florida. In the indictment, it was also alleged that Wilson and an associate robbed cocaine and cell phones from the victims.
In total, Wilson was found guilty of:
- Narcotics conspiracy
- Hobbs Act robbery
- Murder while engaged in a narcotics conspiracy
- Discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and drug trafficking crimes
- Discharge of a firearm causing death in furtherance of a crime of violence and drug trafficking crimes (Two counts)
- Conspiracy to obstruct justice
- Obstruction of justice (Two counts)
- Conspiracy to use fire to commit a felony
- Use of fire to commit a felony (Two counts)
- Conspiracy to damage and destroy a vehicle used in interstate commerce by fire
- Damaging and destroying a vehicle used in interstate commerce by fire
- Possession with intent to distribute marijuana
He was found not guilty on two counts: Hobbs Act conspiracy and maintaining a premises for the purposes of drug trafficking.
Ross said the jury trial lasted about six weeks. She also noted that the investigation resulted in the guilty pleas of Jariel Cobb and James Reed, as well as the convictions of others. She said they believe everyone involved has been convicted.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Adler detailed what the investigation uncovered.
“On Sept. 15, 2019, during a drug deal that went bad at a residence on Roebling Avenue in the City of Buffalo, the defendant Deandre Wilson pistol whipped and killed Dhamyl Roman-Audiffred,” he said. “He then proceeded to shoot and kill Miguel Anthony Valentin-Colon and Nicole Marie Merced-Plaud, who were parked in a van in the driveway of the house with their 3-year-old son.”
Adler said that later in the evening, Wilson took the family’s van to a remote location from the place where he had hidden it, doused it and the two victims’ bodies with gasoline and burnt it, abandoning their son on a patio on the West Side of Buffalo.
“All of this happened just a mere 11 months after Deandre Wilson had been released from prison from a conviction for second degree murder in Erie County,” he added.
Adler said during the Q&A portion of the presser that the mandatory minimum sentence will likely be around 40 years, with a maximum sentence of life, when Wilson is sentenced on March 23.
Attorney Ross said Wilson’s case was not deemed eligible for the death penalty.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Stansbury thanked Ross for pursuing the case federally and thanked the Buffalo Police Department and Erie County Sheriff’s office for their cooperation in the investigation.
“They brought justice, not only to all the family members, who are also victims of this horrendous crime, but they brought justice to what is now a 6-year-old boy who had to watch both his parents murdered in front of him and forever remember that.”
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia noted that the investigation began with what was an apparent lost young boy, followed by a burning car on the West Side of Buffalo. From there, it became more extensive.
“Our initial homicide response … worked this case and quickly discovered that this was going to require a larger effort,” he said.
“Hopefully this young boy will get all of the help and the services that he needs,” he said. “I can only say that there is a special place in hell for somebody like this defendant today, and he should rot where he belongs.”