LAKE VIEW, N.Y. (WIVB) – Hamburg Police announced charges against three men and three women after a 25-year-old man was found dead in a wooded area near Heltz Road in Lake View early Sunday morning.
Police said 25-year-old Brenden Benoit of Boston, N.Y. was found dead with knife wounds at approximately 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Jared Adamski, 26, was charged with the most serious crimes for the stabbing — first-degree manslaughter and assault in the second degree — while the others were charged as co-defendants.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said investigators believe Benoit was lured to the area by the three women while the men waited in the woods. When Benoit fled back to the car, he was stabbed multiple times in the groin area, Flynn said, and he was later taken to the woods.
Police charged the five co-defendants with felony second-degree assault: Harrison Drozen, 20; Connor Krone, 22; Kayleigh Skybyk-Schuh, 19; Larissa Smith, 18; and Elexus Dean, 20. All were from Hamburg.
Flynn said the five others were charged under accomplice liability theory, but he believes they did not know a manslaughter was going to take place. He said the victim and suspects were known to each other.
“The alleged conspiracy here was just to rough up and beat up the victim, and that was it,” Flynn said. “And so, the fact that the individual ended up allegedly being stabbed by Mr. Adamski in the back of the car, I think it’s probably safe to say, allegedly surprised a number, if not all, of the other participants in this crime.”
Flynn said investigators believe they know the motive behind the attack, but he wouldn’t comment on it in Monday’s press conference.
Those accused were arraigned Monday afternoon. Adamski is being held without bail and the co-defendants are held on $100,000 cash/bond or $200,000 partially secured bond. More charges are possible.
If convicted, Adamski faces a maximum of 25 years in prison. The maximum possible for the co-defendants on the assault charge is 7 years, according to the DA’s office. All six defendants will return to court on Friday.
This is a developing news story, check back for updates.
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.