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Wellsville family not satisfied with murder plea deals

Eight people were arrested for the murder of Nicholas Burdge.
Posted at 8:09 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 20:09:32-05

WELLSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Nearly one year after the brutal murder of a 23 year-old man in Wellsville there’s a great amount of sadness and frustration among the man’s family.

Last March, police say Nicholas Burdge was tied to a chair and beaten to death over the course of an entire day inside a Wellsville apartment.

“They took his life,” said his uncle Bobby Roach. “It’s something he fought for his whole life.”

Burdge was on Dialysis at the time of his death.

“He wasn’t just murdered, he was brutally murdered for hours upon hours by these eight people,” said his aunt Elizabeth Rauch.

Eight people, some juveniles were arrested for the brutal crime. Burdge’s body was then wrapped in garbage bags and dumped in the Genesee River, according to prosecutors.

“All I can hear is him begging for me to help him,” Rauch said.

Last month, five of the defendants, 26 year-old Dylan Coomer, 34 year-old Lawrence Haxton III, 28 year-old Rachelle Kaiser, 38 year-old Kristopher Delill and an 18 year-old youthful offender took plea deals ranging from manslaughter to felony assault. The maximum sentence anyone will get is 16 years in prison.

“I feel it’s a smack in our face and we don’t feel justice was served,” said Rauch.

“We were told they were going to plea bargain four of them and those four were going to testify against the others for a life sentence,” Elizabeth Rauch said.

We asked the Allegany County District Attorney if he promised that to the family.

“The goal in this case has always been to bring a just outcome for those who were involved in the homicide of Nicholas Burdge,” said Allegany County Assistant District Attorney Michael Finn.

Finn says throughout the legal process, he spoke with Roach’s sister who was the designated spokesperson for the family at the time. She tells 7 Eyewitness News she believes the DA’s office has done a good job with the case. She says she can “deal” with the outcome, and is glad the defendants are not walking the streets.

Her brother Bob believes otherwise.

Sentencing in this case is scheduled for later this month. Three of the defendants did not take the plea offered and could go to trial.