A Twenty-two-year-old Wellsville man is headed to state prison for his role in the murder last March of Nicholas Burdge in his North Main Street home. During a 14-minute court appearance, Allegany County Judge Thomas Brown sentenced Brandon J. Poehmel to serve 15 years in prison, followed by five years of post-release parole supervision for his guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter. Poehmel was dressed in orange prison clothing with his hands and feet shackled. While sitting next to his attorney Peter Degnan, he continuously rocked his feet.
Burdge had been tied to a chair and savagely beaten, repeatedly. He was also cut repeatedly. His body was later dumped in the Genesee River in Willing, where it was discovered the following day. In a Victim Impact Statement written by Burdge’s mother, she said “I am the mother of Nicholas Burdge, whom, sadly you will only ever remember as your murder victim…you sit here today knowing you carried out the murder of a boy you did not even know, then bragged, as if killing my son makes you tough…you robbed us of our time with him.” She added. “the system clearly failed my son in giving eight monsters 16 years or less.” She said she prays that Poehmel “seeks God.” While the statement was read, Poehmel stared straight ahead.
Assistant District Attorney Mike Finn also wanted the record to reflect that Poehmel “waived his right to appeal.” Degnan called the mothers words poignant and sad. “My client is sorry, “ Degnan told the judge, adding “it’s up to Mr. Poehmel to reform.” When asked by the judge if he had anything to say, Poehmel replied softly “no sir.” Speaking to Poehmel, Judge Brown said “you’ve caused hurt and suffering. The sentence is appropriate.”
In total, eight people were charged with Burdge’s murder. Seven have taken or plan to take plea deals. Several are now in state prison. Howard Burroughs of Wellsville has rejected a deal and a trial is pending.
Again, we were the only media inside the courtroom.