Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 55-year-old Kirk F. Bielanin of Amherst pleaded guilty this morning before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree (Class “B” violent felony). The defendant pleaded guilty to the highest count in the indictment before his non-jury trial was scheduled to begin next week.
Between the late evening of May 30, 2022 and the early morning hours of May 31, 2022, the defendant stabbed his estranged girlfriend, 60-year-old Diane Bird, once in the chest inside of her home on Glen Oak Drive in the Town of Amherst. The defendant, who previously resided at the home, was living with a family member in the Village of Depew at the time of the crime.
On May 31, 2022, at approximately 1:27 p.m., a co-worker went to check on the victim after she did not appear for work. The co-worker found the victim deceased near the front door and called 911. Responding police officers found Bielanin in an upstairs bedroom. He was transported by ambulance to ECMC where he was treated for a stab wound to his chest and a cut to his left wrist.
Bielanin faces a maximum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. He continues to be held without bail.
DA Flynn commends the Amherst Police Department for their work in the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Eugene T. Partridge, III of the Homicide Bureau and Assistant Chief Andres D. Ortiz of the Buffalo City Court Bureau.