Buffalo man receives maximum sentence for strangulation, attempted robbery

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man received the maximum sentence Wednesday for attacking a female victim and attempting to rob an elderly woman in 2022, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced.

34-year-old Michael Sawyer was sentenced as a second violent felony offender to fifteen years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.

Just after 10:30 p.m. on April 1, 2022, Sawyer strangled a woman to the point of unconsciousness in a Buffalo home. He then took her phone and keys and stole her vehicle.

Four days later, Sawyer used the vehicle to drive to a grocery store in Cheektowaga to commit the robbery. He grabbed an 80-year-old woman’s purse while driving, causing her to fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries.

Final orders of protection remain in effect until April 2050 on behalf of both victims.

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Kayleigh Hunter-Gasperini joined the News 4 team in 2024 as a Digital Video Producer. She is a graduate of Chatham University.

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