April 15, 2021
ALLEGANY COUNTY, NY – From Wellsville Reporter Michael Baldwin:
A Wellsville teenager is expected to spend the next decade in state prison, under a plea deal, for his role in the savage beating death of 23-year-old Nicholas Burdge inside the victim’s Main Street apartment March 21, 2020. He is one of eight defendants; three have already been sentenced. Justin L. Darden of state Route 417 Wednesday afternoon pled guilty to first-degree Manslaughter, a class B felony. Judge Brown told Darden that “Youthful Offender status is off the table.” In addition, the teen gave up his right to remain silent, gave up his right to appeal and must serve five years post-release supervision. Darden admitted that he punched Burdge, loaded the lifeless body into a pickup truck, drove to Jack Bridge Road in Willing and dumped the body into the Genesee River…where it was discovered the next day. Brown remanded the defendant back to a secure youth detention facility in Erie County. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered with formal sentencing scheduled for June 23rd at 1 p.m. Outside the courtroom, ADA Finn was asked if he was satisfied with the events (Finn). Another defendant, Brandon J. Poemel of Wellsville, is expected to plead guilty next Wednesday to first-degree Manslaughter and will accept a 15-year prison sentence. Howard Burroughs of Wellsville is expected to go to trial.