BUFFALO, N.Y.- A Buffalo man is facing a charge of depraved indifference in connection with a homicide last month.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said the “depraved indifference” charge is harder to prove than murder, but he felt the actions of 31-year-old Lemuele Jackson justified it.
“Basically, in layman’s terms, it is an individual who just has a total disregard for the safety and welfare of their fellow human beings and they take an action in total disregard of someone’s safety,” Flynn said.
Jackson is the second person to face a depraved indifference charge this year.
The death of 26-year-old Santana Anderson on August 4 was the city’s 36th homicide in 2018.
Flynn said Anderson’s death is one of many that put people in harm’s way.
“We've had individuals who have recklessly shot into crowds, we've had individuals who recklessly shot and struck this poor grandmother and this baby on Grape Street, this poor woman in her car with three children, and this incident on Hagen Street, here was another incident we've seen far too often this summer of an individual recklessly shooting into a crowd," said Flynn.
In New York State, there’s a high bar for proving depraved indifference, but Flynn is hoping to change that.
"If I can change this law on depraved indifference and actually get the appellate courts to take a more open-minded view on these type of murders, then I have succeeded in not only here in Buffalo but statewide, quite frankly," he said.
Jackson is also facing one charge of second-degree murder, one charge of attempted murder and one count of reckless endangerment.