Convicted Kidnapper's Mother Speaks Out Against Sentence

August 6, 2010 Updated Aug 6, 2010 at 6:29 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

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August 6, 2010 Updated Aug 6, 2010 at 6:29 PM EDT


Buffalo, NY (WKBW) -- Errol Fowler Graham was sentenced to 15 years in prison today. He apologized to the victims, who were in court to watch the proceedings. Fowler Graham and his co-defendant Robert Hillman carjacked a woman in north Buffalo, forcing her to drive to her apartment, where she and her roommate were tied up, blindfolded, and then forced to drain their bank accounts at various ATMs. We spoke with one victim shortly after the november incident. She tells us, "They were talking to each other, they were laughing, they were saying this was their first time hustling and they were so impressed that they got so much money out of 2 students."

Sherri Fowler says her son came from a strong background supported by church and family. "I work very hard. I don't rent a house, I own a house. My son was well taken care of. He got caught up with people doing wrong things."

The judge today had little sympathy. Judge Christopher Burns told Errol that the victims will think about the crime every time they get in a car or when they wake up. "This isn't all about you or any deficiencies you have or any deficiencies in your upbringing."

Fowler says jail time isn't the answer. "There are a lot of mothers in my position who feel helpless to system, helpless to the police, and helpless in Western New York." She says her son has learning disabilities and never got the help he needed through school. She says Errol will not turn out for the better when he is released in 15 years. "We need community support that we don't have."

Co-defendant Robert Hillman was sentenced to 5 years in prison for allegedly having a lesser role in the crime. Stop the Violence Coalition is working with Hillman at his family's request, and will continue counseling throughout his incarceration.