Legal Analysis of Impact Sheriff’s Support May Have on Sentencing of Kenneth Achtyl

Kenneth Achtyl, a former Deputy with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, is scheduled to be sentenced by an Orchard Park town justice on the evening of January 23rd.

Prior to the sentencing, WGRZ 2 On Your Side aired a report on the support Achtyl has received and how it may impact the severity of his sentence. Attorney Barry Covert was interviewed to provide legal analysis for the report. Continue reading this post for Barry Covert’s comments and click on the video below to watch the full report, which includes the interview with Barry Covert.

While serving as an Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy in 2017, Kenneth Achtyl was accused of assaulting a 25 year old man at a Buffalo Bills tailgate. It is reported that the man suffered a bloodied face, broken nose, and concussion due to the altercation with Achtyl.

In September 2018, an Orchard Park jury found Kenneth Achtyl guilty of assault in the third degree, official misconduct, and falsifying records.

Achtyl could be sentenced to up to two years in jail. However, prior to his sentencing, there have been multiple media reports on those advocating for leniency in Achtyl’s sentencing. Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard is among those who have offered a letter of support on Kenneth Achtyl’s behalf.

WGRZ 2 On Your Side‘s recent report on Kenneth Achtyl’s upcoming sentencing included details of the letter Sheriff Timothy Howard sent to the judge in Achtyl’s case. It is reported that Howard’s letter stated “I ask for your judicious consideration of a man, a hero, no less, whose career was spent endeavoring to do what is right and honorable for the safety of those citizens whom he aspired to dutifully serve.”

Attorney Barry Covert reviewed the sentencing memorandum prepared by Kenneth Achtyl’s defense attorneys to provide legal analysis for WGRZ. The memorandum was comprised of letters of support from family and friends as well as documentation of Achtyl’s awards and contributions as a law enforcement officer.

In an interview with WGRZ reporter Jackie Roberts, Barry Covert stated “It is a definite possibility that there is no need for incarceration here.” Referencing the sentencing memorandum, Mr. Covert went on to say “We’ve got old letter. We’ve got recent letters. We have letter for what he did even after this incident. And, it really shows a lifetime of valor, of acting on behalf of the community, of putting others before himself.”