LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man has pleaded not guilty to a Niagara County grand jury indictment accusing him of gunning down a 26-year-old woman as she left a memorial for another homicide victim in September.
Michael A. Mease, 20, entered his plea to charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon during a Skype arraignment in State Supreme Court in Lockport on Wednesday afternoon. Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. ordered Mease remanded to the Niagara County jail pending an attorney appearance on Oct. 21.
Mease is charged in connection with the Sept. 29 slaying of Shakiya Boyce.
Falls police had moved quickly to find the suspect who killed Boyce in a hail of gunfire at the intersection of 20th Street and Centre Avenue. She is the city’s 14th homicide victim of 2020.
Police said they responded to a shooting call around 6:45 p.m. and patrol officers said they found Boyce, lying in the street, not breathing and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Detectives said Boyce had been at the intersection to visit a memorial at that location for homicide victim Clyde Coleman III.
As Boyce was leaving the memorial and getting into a friend’s car, investigators said she was struck by a hail of gunfire. Witnesses at the scene said they heard “several gunshots.”
Boyce was treated at the scene and then rushed to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. She was pronounced dead, a short time later, in the emergency room.
Falls Police Crime Scene Unit detectives and a Niagara County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit scoured the scene in a search for physical evidence. Police also seized the car that Boyce was entering and took it to police headquarters for a further forensic examination.
Neither Falls Police Criminal Investigation Division detectives nor Niagara County prosecutors have commented on what may have triggered the murder.