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Utica man pleads not guilty, faces up to 15 years behind bars for role in New Year's Day crash

Posted at 12:46 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 12:46:22-04

31-year-old Abdikadir Jaffar pleaded not guilty in Erie County Court on severely elevated charges, including 5 counts of Aggravated Vehicular Assault, three counts of 2nd Degree Assault and one count of 3rd Degree Assault, in connection to a New Year's Day crash in Buffalo that left three people severely injured. 

Police say, on January 1st, Jaffar was recklessly driving on Richmond Avenue with a BAC of .22%, more than twice the legal limit, when he hit a car, then struck a pole, snapping it off, hitting multiple pedestrians.

Among the injured were: 16-year-old Nate Kahn, a City Honors student who lost his left left above the knee, 15-year-old Benjamin Weigel, who suffered a concussion and herniated discs, and 62-year-old Christopher Sheppard who suffered a broken pelvis and two broken legs. 

Jaffar initially posted bail, but was remanded after his arraignment in County Court once charges were elevated and the prosecution suggested he could be a flight risk because of that.

Jaffar's lawyer says his team has hired a private investigator to look into the case further to piece together to fill in the blanks that may have led to the chain of events. 

DA John Flynn says, as it is, he is pleased with Judge Kenneth Case's decision. 

The defendant is expected back in court on June, 9th.