It was an emotional day in court as two people charged in the death of an 85-year-old war veteran learned their fate in court today.
Both Antonio McLaurin and Elizabeth Taylor took a plea deal today that sentenced them to up to 15 years in prison. Before the judge handed down the sentence, he said the pair denied a soldier the dignified end he deserved.
“I’d like them to remember Vincent Force as a kind person who tried to help other people and serve his country,” said Buzz Andrezeski, a friend of Vincent Force. Those were the words that Andrezeski used to describe his close friend Vincent Force, who died last July.
Andrezeski was in the courtroom as Antonio McLaurin and Elizabeth Taylor pleaded guilty to murdering force.
“What happened to him shouldn’t have happened to anybody in this community or this country,” he said. “But it did. Vince is gone.”
According to police…the pair severely neglected Force, then buried him in the ground behind a house. His body was found wrapped in plastic in a shallow grave. On Monday, an Erie County Judge sentenced the duo to 6 to 15 years in prison for the murder.
“We came to an agreement with the commonwealth in this case,” said Bruce Sandmeyer, the lawyer for Antonio McLaurin. “We looked at the evidence, the weaknesses and the strengths on both sides and we believe that this was a fair resolution of the case.”
Both McLaurin and Taylor’s lawyers said their clients regret what happened and accepted responsibility for Force’s death.
“As she indicated in court this morning, they panicked when Mr. Force died,” said Gene Placidi, the lawyer for Elizabeth Taylor. “I think had they notified the authorities, I think this case would’ve ended up differently, but they didn’t.”
McLaurin and Taylor were also sentenced to two years probation for abuse of a corpse. The Assistant District Attorney for this case told JET 24 Action News that their hearts go out to the loved ones of Vincent Force