(WNY News Now) – A 22-year-old resident of Niagara Falls, has been sentenced to 32 years in prison for a series of crimes, including Manslaughter in the First Degree, Attempted Robbery in the First Degree, and Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree.
Niagara Falls – Niagara County District Attorney Brian D. Seaman has announced that 22-year-old Gabriel Behrens of Niagara Falls has been sentenced after pleading guilty to a series of crimes that took place in the Falls during 2022 and 2023. Behrens, who faced a potential maximum prison sentence of 35 years according to the plea agreement, appeared before County Court Judge Caroline Wojtaszek for sentencing.
Behrens admitted his guilt to three charges as part of the plea deal. First, he pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree for the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Elijah Lopez on February 20th of the current year at Jordan Gardens. Subsequently, he pleaded guilty to Attempted Robbery in the First Degree for an armed robbery that occurred in an alleyway off Niagara Street a week later on February 26th. Finally, Behrens admitted guilt for Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, stemming from an incident in June of 2022 when he was found in possession of a firearm.
During the sentencing, County Court Judge Caroline Wojtaszek imposed a total prison term of 32 years, in addition to a five-year period of post-release supervision. This substantial sentence reflects the severity of the crimes to which Behrens had pleaded guilty.
District Attorney Brian D. Seaman remarked, “This individual’s criminal conduct ranged from possession of an illegal weapon to armed robbery and manslaughter, resulting in the tragic loss of a young man’s life. He will now spend the next three decades in prison, a lengthy sentence but no consolation to Elijah Lopez’s family.”