Falls man convicted of manslaughter and robbery has sentencing delayed by new charges

Mar. 28—LOCKPORT — Sentencing for a Falls man, who has pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and robbery, was delayed Wednesday after prosecutors said he faces new charges stemming from the stabbing of a fellow inmate in the Niagara County jail.

Prosecutors told Niagara County Court Judge Caroline Wojtaszek that Isaiah J. Christian, 20, of the Falls, faces counts of second-degree assault and promoting prison contraband after he allegedly "shanked" another inmate during a confrontation at the jail on Dec. 19. The other inmate suffered non-life-threatening wounds from the stabbing incident.

Christian had previously pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree robbery in connection with a series of robberies and shootings in the Falls that left one man dead. The incidents occurred between the early morning hours of May 3 and May 5, 2022.

In return for his guilty pleas, Wojtaszek has told Christian that she would sentence him to no more than 20 years in state prison. However, if Christian were to be convicted on the charges connected to the jailhouse stabbing, he could face up to 50 years behind bars.

At the request of First Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann, Wojtaszek agreed to adjourn Christian's sentencing hearing to "review" her previous commitment to no more than a 20-year prison term for him.

Christian may also be called as a witness at the upcoming trial of his co-defendant in the murder and robbery cases, Rohmelo Lewis. Lewis, 22, of the Falls, 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 for his role in the violent 2022 crime spree.

Jury selection for Lewis' trial is set to begin on April 29 before Wojtaszek. He is currently being held without bail.

Christian, had originally been indicted, alongside Lewis, on two counts of second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree robbery, and one count of second-degree assault.

Lewis had been a person of interest in the shooting death of Cortez Galmore, in the 1000 block of Cedar Avenue late on the night of May 4, 2022. He had also previously been linked to three robberies and shootings in the early morning hours of May 5, 2022 and an incident on the night of May 3, 2022.

Detectives linked Christian to armed robberies that occurred May 3, 2022 in the 1400 block of Main Street and May 5, 2022 in the 1300 block of Main Street.

While detectives were beginning their investigation into the slaying of Galmore on May 4, patrol officers, at 1:12 a.m. May 5, were called to the 1300 block of Main Street for a report of an armed robbery. A male victim told police he was walking north on Main Street when two male suspects, wearing ski masks, approached him and hit him in the head with the stock of a firearm after robbing him.

The victim was hospitalized for treatment of his injuries, which were not considered life-threatening.

Lewis and Christian were tied to an incident six minutes later, at 1:18 a.m. May 5, in the 400 block of Elmwood Avenue. That victim told investigators that he was sitting on his porch when he was approached by two suspects who asked him for a "light." One of the suspects, believed to be Lewis, then began firing a gun at the victim.

The victim suffered what was described as a "graze wound" to his ear.

At 3:17 a.m. on May 5, two more victims approached police in the 700 block of Main Street and told the officers that a male suspect, armed with a shotgun, had approached them at Pine Avenue and Main Street and pointed the weapon at them. Neither victim was injured.

Police deployed a contingent of NFPD Emergency Response Team officers and a K-9 Unit to join in the search for the gunman. A Niagara County Sheriff's Office K-9, along with New York State Park Police and New York State Police patrols also assisted with the search and investigation.

Just before 4 a.m. on May 5, Falls Police Patrol Officer Wayne General located Lewis in the area of Main Street and Park Place and attempted to stop him for questioning. Lewis was found in possession of a rifle with both the barrel and stock cut down and was taken into custody.

Christian was apprehended by police the next day.