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Sweetwood Drive man is charged with attempted murder in stabbing

An indictment unsealed Tuesday in Niagara County Court charges a Sweetwood Drive man with attempted murder in connection with an Aug. 12 stabbing on Glendale Drive.

Jose Molina-Roman, 29, is scheduled for arraignment today on a four-count indictment accusing him of trying to kill Luis Orona in front of the victim's residence by stabbing him in the chest.

Two co-defendants, who are charged with taking part in an assault on the victim but not with trying to kill him, pleaded not guilty at arraignments Tuesday before Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

They are Axel E. Antongiorgi, 22, and the brother of the man accused of trying to kill Orona, Delman Molina-Roman, 23, both of Sweetwood Drive.

The men, all natives of Puerto Rico, are charged with attempted first-degree gang assault, attempted first-degree assault and second-degree assault. Jose Molina-Roman is also charged with attempted second-degree murder.
Assistant District Attorney Brian D. Seaman said he did not know the motive for the assault on Orona, who allegedly was attacked with a brick in addition to being knifed.
Defense attorney George V.C. Muscato, representing Delman Molina-Roman, said testimony at a felony hearing last month in Town of Lockport Court showed a lack of evidence against Delman.
"My client didn't put a hand on [Orona] at all," Muscato scoffed.
Seaman said Orona was the only witness who testified at that hearing. "Other individuals have come forward and testified for the grand jury and given a much fuller picture of this defendant's involvement," Seaman told the judge.
Delman Molina-Roman told Murphy, "I never in my life had a problem. I never do nothing wrong."
Muscato and David C. Douglas, attorney for Antongiorgi, both said their clients have no prior criminal records. Seaman said that's true as far as New York is concerned, but said he's still waiting for information from Puerto Rico. Muscato said Seaman will find nothing.
Douglas got Murphy to reduce Antongiorgi's bail from $25,000 to $15,000, but the judge boosted bail for Delman Molina-Roman from $10,000 to $12,000.
Douglas said Antongiorgi took no part in the felony hearing, but Town Justice Leonard G. Tilney Jr. set bail higher than for the Molina-Roman brothers after hearing testimony that appeared to implicate Antongiorgi more strongly than the judge had thought.
Both men arraigned Tuesday are married with a child at home. Delman Molina-Roman was working full time at High Tread International, a Lockport tire recycling plant, before his arrest, while Antongiorgi had a full-time job at Home Depot in Lockport. Both have lived in the area for several years.
Murphy scheduled a pretrial conference Nov. 12 and set a tentative trial date of March 9.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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