Adjournment granted in child endangerment case
NIAGARA FALLS -- A city man charged in September with endangering the welfare of his three children by leaving them in a hot vehicle had the charges adjourned Monday for possible dismissal.
Michael Daniels, 21, of Willow Avenue, was granted a six-month adjournment in contemplation of dismissal by City Judge Robert Merino.
Samantha Heller, 22, who also faces endangering charges in the case, appeared in court last week and had her case adjourned to Nov. 19.
Both parents were charged Sept. 2 with leaving three girls, ages 9, 2 and six weeks, in a locked Jeep with the windows rolled up, while the vehicle was parked in the 2400 block of Willow Street, near the family's house. One witness told the police that the children were alone in 82-degree heat for close to 30 minutes. The 9-year-old, who opened the door for officers, told police the three had been in the Jeep for "a long time."
Heller told police she had only been inside the house for a few minutes. The children were found covered in sweat and were taken by ambulance to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, where they were treated and released.
Merino said Daniels will have his charges dismissed if he remains out of trouble through April 20.
Drug dealer's guilty plea to lesser charge averts trial
LOCKPORT -- A jury was to have been selected Monday for Joseph L. Harris Jr.'s Niagara County Court trial, but instead he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.
Harris, 43, of 21st Street, Niagara Falls, admitted to attempted third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and faces two to eight years in state prison when he is sentenced Jan. 15 by Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.
Harris sold cocaine to an undercover police agent in Niagara Falls on March 20, 2007.
Inmate flees custody by impersonating another
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- A Niagara Falls, Ont., man is at large after escaping custody by fraudulently impersonating another inmate in order to obtain early release from the St. Catharines courthouse, Niagara Regional Police said.
Before authorities realized what happened, Richard B. Beal, 33, was free. He was in custody after being arrested Sunday on charges of breaking and entering, possession of stolen property and breach of probation. He now will face additional charges, police said.
They described him as white, 5 feet, 7 inches tall and about 150 pounds, with short, dark brown hair, green eyes and a goatee. He has numerous tattoos on his forearms and hands, and a skull tattoo on his right shoulder. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (905) 688-4111, Ext. 4272.
Meanwhile, police said they have charged Bryn G. Mester, 29, of Niagara Falls, Ont., with breach of probation and being a party to the offense of escaping lawful custody.
Crash in Falls, Ont., kills male driver, 51
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- A medical condition apparently led to a violent crash that killed a 51-year-old man and injured a female passenger late Monday morning, Niagara Regional Police reported.
The crash occurred at about 11:30 a.m. near McLeod and Drummond roads. The 51-year-old driver, whose name was withheld pending notification of family members, was traveling west on McLeod Road in a 2002 Honda, which went off the roadway and entered a parking lot of a business, where it struck a parked car.
From there, it crossed the road, went into another parking lot, mounted a curb, struck a pole and came to rest against a tree on the grounds of Fallsview Brethren in Christ Church. The driver was pronounced dead, and his 48-year-old female passenger was treated for minor injuries.