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2nd suspect in 21st St. slaying named

The name of the second suspect in a Niagara Falls homicide on Aug. 23 was disclosed Friday, when an indictment was unsealed against the man previously arrested in the case.

Paul A. Osborne Jr., 21, of Seventh Street, Buffalo, pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court to an 11-count indictment accusing him in the slaying of Donald J. Paige, 24, who was gunned down in his driveway on 21st Street in Niagara Falls.

Brandon Dennis, also known as James Funderburk, 21, of North Division Street, Buffalo, was also named in the indictment and remains at large.

Osborne's lawyer, Assistant Public Defender A. Joseph Catalano, told Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza, "My client is not the shooter. He was with the shooter at the time. That's my understanding of the people's proof."

Assistant District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann retorted that Osborne is legally responsible for Paige's death no matter who pulled the trigger.

"The people have information that Mr. Osborne has told people in the jail that if he gets out, he intends to flee," said Hoffmann, urging Sperrazza to deny bail.

"He's a scared young man," Catalano argued.

The judge set bail at $250,000 cash or $500,000 property. Osborne has been held since his arrest Sept. 6.

The indictment charges him and Dennis with three counts each of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree assault, and single counts of attempted first-degree robbery, first-degree criminal use of a firearm and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Police said Paige was shot twice, in the neck and the head, and his sister, Diachara S. Paige, 21, was shot once in the arm.

Paige had just arrived home with a friend, Victor L. Bullard, and was inside the house when Bullard was robbed in his pickup truck.

Paige was shot when he came back outside.

Sperrazza set a tentative trial date of March 10.


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