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Man convicted of killing child held without bail, waiting for response on new trial

Posted at 11:10 AM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 13:00:31-05

The Buffalo man sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for beating his girlfriend's son to death, was in court again Thursday morning following the reversal of his court ruling.

In September 2014, an Erie County jury found Matthew Kuzdzal, 29, guilty of second-degree murder and predatory sexual assault against a child after he fatally beat and sexually assaulted 5-year-old Eain Brooks.

Kuzdzal was serving his sentence when he was granted a new trial in November of this year. The Appellate Division reversed the conviction, ruling the judge in the case should have questioned two jurors who allegedly called Kuzdzal a "scumbag" outside the courtroom.

The prosecution asked for a reversal of this request in court Thursday morning.

"We believe Justice Burns properly handled the matter after determining the witness who claimed to overhear the jurors was not credible," says District Attorney Michael Flaherty.

The prosecution also asked that Kuzdzal be held without bail, a request the defense called "too excessive." The defense instead requested bail at $250,000 cash/bond. Judge Burns denied this request, remanding Kuzdzal based on his criminal history - Kuzdzal has multiple previous charges, both misdemeanors and felonies.

The next court date is set for February 1 at 9:30 a.m. The DA's Office says it plans to re-try Kuzdzal on both counts if the appeal is denied.