- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The case of a western New York landlord accused of fatally shooting a friend and tenant is set to go before a judge.

Thomas Szczesniak’s (SEHZ’-nee-aks) non-jury trial is scheduled to begin Monday in state Supreme Court in Buffalo.

Szczesniak is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 54-year-old Joseph Lawrence Jr. last October. Authorities say Szczesniak shot Lawrence in the driveway of their suburban Cheektowaga home during an argument.

Szczesniak’s attorney has called it a case of self-defense.

Prosecutors say the two men had been friends since childhood. Lawrence lived one floor above Szczesniak.

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