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JUDGE FREES FALLS MAN SERVING PRISON SENTENCE

A Niagara Falls man, in the midst of a 5- to 15-year prison sentence for a 1994 robbery, was freed this week by Niagara County Court Judge Peter L. Broderick.

Jason C. Fiori, 28, of Military Road, whose original conviction was overturned on appeal, entered a guilty plea Monday to attempted second-degree robbery. Broderick sentenced him to one year in the county jail, but the sentence was voided immediately because Fiori already had served three years and 10 days in state prison.

The original 5- to 15-year sentence was ordered June 18, 1996, by then-Niagara County Judge Charles J. Hannigan after a four-day jury trial during which Fiori was convicted of two counts of attempted first-degree robbery.

The robbery occurred Oct. 31, 1994, when Anthony Partipilo was accosted in a parking lot of a Niagara Falls Boulevard restaurant. Prosecutors said that Fiori and a co-defendant, David A. Phelps, 27, then of Sanborn, were trying to steal steroids. They said Phelps had a gun and it went off.

Both men were indicted in August 1995 on three counts each of attempted first- and second-degree robbery, six counts of assault, two of criminal use of a firearm, and a single count of possession of a weapon.

Phelps pleaded guilty to one count of attempted second-degree robbery and testified at Fiori's 1996 trial. In June 1996, Phelps was sentenced by Hannigan to five years of probation with the conditions of no drugs or alcohol use and periodic testing.

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