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>Man admits assaulting three ex-girlfriends

A Maryner Homes man pleaded guilty Monday to violently assaulting three ex-girlfriends in the city's Riverside area almost a year ago.

Darryl Nance, 23, pleaded guilty before Erie County Judge Michael F. Pietruszka to two felony assault charges and a witness tampering charge.

Prosecutors Lisa Bloch Rodwin and Holly P. Tucker said Nance beat the women because he had apparently become jealous over new relationships they had begun with others.

The judge said he would consider a three-year prison term when he sentences Nance on May 2.


>Man enters guilty pleas in fatal traffic accident

A Pine Street man pleaded guilty Monday to criminally negligent homicide and misdemeanor drunken driving for causing the accident that killed a bicyclist in the city's first traffic fatality of 2006.

Grady Dowell, 23, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Oneal Martinez, 33, at Pearl and West Mohawk streets at about 4 a.m. New Year's Day 2006. He was allowed to remain free on bail by State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns, who told Dowell he faces a state prison term of up to four years. Burns barred him from driving or drinking pending his April 26 sentencing.

Prosecutor Jeff Hagan said Martinez, of Pearl Street, was hit by Dowell's fast-moving car as he was bicycling and collecting pop cans to redeem. Martinez -- also known as Mario Gonzalez -- was pronounced dead in nearby Buffalo General Hospital.

Dowell was arrested at the scene, and Hagan said he registered a 0.09 percent blood alcohol content level on a Breathalyzer test administered by police. The legal limit is 0.08.


>Fort Erie resident missing since Friday

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. -- A search continues for a Fort Erie resident who has been missing since Friday afternoon.

Niagara Regional Police said Mark A. Saltarelli, 58, was last seen in the area of Cairns Crescent in Fort Erie at about 12:15 p.m. Friday.

Saltarelli is white, 6-foot-3 and weighs approximately 175 pounds, according to police. He is balding, with short gray hair and a full gray beard.

He was believed to be wearing a brown, three-quarter-length jacket, boots, gloves and a brown hat. He also should have a large white bandage just above his forehead -- the result of a recent head injury.

Police said foul play isn't suspected. Anyone with information on Saltarelli's whereabouts is asked to contact police at (905) 688-4111 or CrimeStoppers at 800-222-8477.


>Guilty plea entered in home invasions

A Langfield Drive man pleaded guilty Monday to burglary charges that included terrorizing elderly Cheektowaga residents.

Fabian T. Jones, 18, pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Timothy J. Drury to two counts of first-degree burglary for home invasions at an elderly Henry Street couple's home Oct. 4, 2005, and a Veterans Place woman's home March 26.

Prosecutor Michael McCabe said authorities are still trying to identify and arrest a second man who the victims said took part in the break-ins. Jones has refused to name his alleged cohort.

McCabe said prosecutors dropped charges linked to a Nov. 15, 2005, break-in at another Henry Street home in Cheektowaga because the woman who lived there died months later of unrelated causes.

Drury told Jones he is likely to cap his state prison term at 10 years when he is sentenced April 11.


>Death of woman, 91, in fire triggers investigation

Erie County sheriff's deputies are investigating the death of a 91-year-old Alden woman who was found Monday in her fire-damaged home.

Millgrove Fire Chief Bob Eleckzo said Monday that investigators had not pinned down a definitive cause for the fire at 3049 Town Line Road. He declined to release the name of the victim, whose body was found by her son on the floor in the hallway of the house.

"We got an [Emergency Medical Services] call at 1:32 p.m. for a possible confirmation of a deceased person," Eleckzo said. "Upon our arrival at the house, we found that the house had been on fire but it put itself out"

"There was very considerable heat and smoke damage to the interior of the house," he said.

An autopsy will be performed by the Erie County medical examiner's office.

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