Comment by Brokob highlighted in hearing
LOCKPORT -- Mitchell W. Brokob, accused of sexually assaulting a North Tonawanda girl March 20 after allegedly abducting her at knifepoint on her way to school, made a seemingly incriminating comment to a Niagara County corrections officer on the way to a court appearance in June, the officer testified Thursday in County Court.
Robert Watson said he was driving Brokob, 41, from the County Jail to North Tonawanda City Court on June 9 for an attorney appearance. Watson said he asked Brokob if he had a lawyer. "His response was, 'I'll probably just plead guilty,' " Watson testified during an evidence suppression hearing.
Assistant Public Defender Michael E. Benedict asked Watson if he was aware that Brokob, who did not plead guilty, has trouble hearing out of one ear; Watson said he didn't know that.
Meanwhile, Judge Matthew J. Murphy III, who has yet to rule on the issues in the hearing, announced that the start of Brokob's trial is being pushed back from Nov. 10 to Dec. 8. Prosecutors said it is expected to last about two weeks.
Trial of 2 men charged in slaying delayed again
LOCKPORT -- The murder trial of two Buffalo men charged in a Niagara Falls slaying has been postponed again.
Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza on Tuesday moved the trial of Paul A. Osborne and Brandon Dennis to Jan. 20. It had been slated for Monday.
Osborne, 21, of Seventh Street, and Dennis, 22, of North Division Street, are charged in the killing of Donald Paige Jr., 24, of 21st Street, Niagara Falls. Paige was shot to death in his driveway Aug. 23, 2007.
Search turns up nothing after bomb threat at NU
LEWISTON -- A campuswide search came up empty following a bomb threat at Niagara University on Thursday morning.
Someone called the campus security office at about 9 a.m. reporting a bomb was on campus, but a search by police and university facilities staff found nothing, said university spokesman Linus Ormsby.
The search ended at about 10:45 a.m., Ormsby said.
Lewiston police, state troopers and the Niagara County Sheriff's Office are continuing to investigate the matter.
Officials described the threatening phone call as "very nonspecific" and considered it not to be credible.
No buildings on campus were evacuated following the threat.
Cases against coaches in alleged hazing delayed
WILSON -- The criminal cases against two high school baseball coaches accused in an alleged hazing case have been adjourned until Nov. 18.
William M. Atlas and Thomas J. Baia had been scheduled for an appearance Thursday evening in Town Court.
Herbert L. Greenman, Atlas' attorney, told The Buffalo News that he and defense attorney Robert J. Viola recently received prosecutors' responses to motions and that additional time was needed for their review.
Atlas and Baia, who were suspended from both teaching and coaching duties following an incident on a team bus in April, face three misdemeanor child endangerment charges each after police say several players were involved in a hazing incident.
Three former players face misdemeanor hazing charges and also are scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18.
Man held on bail in molestation case
LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man is being held on $50,000 bail after pleading not guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court to molesting three girls.
Antoine J. Landry, 40, of Ashland Avenue, is charged with two counts each of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and first-degree sexual abuse. The incidents allegedly occurred between September 2007 and last month, Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco said. The alleged victims are 8, 10 and 12 years old.
In another sex case Thursday, Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza imposed a one-year jail term on Lisa M. Schreiber, 33, of Hinds Street, City of Tonawanda, who had pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse for fondling the breast of a 13-year-old girl in Lewiston Nov. 20, 2005. The new sentence will run simultaneously with a one-year term Schreiber received in Erie County for second-degree rape, and a 1 1/2 - to five-year sentence in Michigan for driving while intoxicated with a passenger under age 16.
Traffic stop results in marijuana charges
CAMBRIA -- Police who pulled over a driver on Burch Road early Wednesday ended up charging him with marijuana possession.
Robert E. Prange, 23, of Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, fourth-degree criminal possession of a marijuana and unlawful possession of marijuana. He also was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration. Deputies said they discovered nine bags of marijuana in the vehicle.