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Man faces 15-year term for shooting

A Niagara Falls man who nearly killed another man in a shooting incident earlier this year faces up to 15 years in prison after accepting a plea bargain Friday in Niagara County Court.

Wayne A. Tabb, 25, of Spruce Avenue admitted to attempted first-degree assault and is to be sentenced Jan. 3 by Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Tabb shot Preston S. Edwards II, 25, of Ninth Street April 29 during a fight in an alley off the 200 block of Portage Road in Niagara Falls. Edwards was hit in the chest by a shotgun blast and had a lung removed in subsequent surgery, according to prosecutors.

Tabb fled to Buffalo after the shooting and was apprehended there May 16.

In another violent case Friday, Sperrazza imposed a seven-year prison term on a man who allegedly sprayed a man and a woman with Mace while trying to steal their cancer medication.

Adam J. Ray, 28, of Ridge Road, Hartland, continues to dispute that version of the Jan. 2 incident in a home on West Avenue in Lockport.

Defense attorney A. Joseph Catalano told Sperrazza that Ray's version is that the residents had been selling him the medication and confronted him with a hatchet when they got into an argument over money Ray owed them. According to Ray, he Maced them in self-defense.

Catalano said, "My client has a severe drug problem. He was a strung-out individual looking for his next fix. He went to his dealer. Things got out of hand."

Sperrazza replied, "In that strung-out condition, how clear do you think his recollection is of what happened that night?" Ray, who had pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree burglary, could have received up to 15 years in prison, which is what Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm sought. She said there was no evidence to support Ray's version. About 200 pain pills and $190 were stolen.

Meanwhile, Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. imposed a sentence of 2 1/3 to seven years on a man who pleaded guilty to molesting a girl from September 1997 to April 1999, when the victim was 3 to 5 years old.

Paul W. Pierce, 26, formerly of Lockport, sought to withdraw his guilty plea to first-degree sexual abuse, claiming he was confused by the process, but Broderick wouldn't allow that.

The crime was not reported until Jan. 13, 2006, the victim's mother said. The five-year statute of limitations doesn't begin in child sexual abuse cases until the crime is reported to an adult or the victim's 18th birthday, whichever comes first.


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