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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Lewiston man convicted of break-in, thefts at shrine

LOCKPORT -- A Lewiston man was convicted Friday night of burglarizing Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in that town Jan. 3, 2010.

A Niagara County Court jury found John W. Myers, 30, of James Drive, guilty of third-degree burglary, petit larceny and third-degree criminal mischief.

He was caught outside the Swann Road shrine by a priest and a state trooper at about 4 a.m., and $93 in U.S. currency and $10 in Canadian funds were found buried in the snow near Myers. The money had allegedly been taken from donation boxes inside. Judge Matthew J. Murphy III will sentence Myers March 24.

Condition of driver in SUV crash improves

SHELBY -- A Middleport man whose sport utility vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer Wednesday morning was upgraded from critical to serious condition Friday, officials said.

Lynn Brady, 50, of Telegraph Road, was traveling east on an icy Route 31 near Hoffman Road and lost control, with his SUV sliding into the westbound lane, catching the rear tire of the truck.

The driver of the rig, Charles Ellington, 42, of Rochester, was not injured. Emergency crews worked for about 40 minutes to free Brady after the crash.

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Lacrosse player given probation in pot deal

LOCKPORT -- A Genesee Community College lacrosse player was sentenced Friday to three years' probation for his role in a marijuana deal.

Gaehnewrawe Printup, 20, of Walmore Road on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, had admitted to a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree marijuana possession. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza imposed sentence.

Printup was a passenger in a car that was stopped Jan. 29 by Town of Niagara police, who were tipped off to an effort to haul a supply of marijuana from Syracuse to the Tuscarora Reservation. A bag containing 11.86 pounds of marijuana was found on the back seat.

Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm didn't object to the sentence. "This may well have been a single moment in time, a bad decision that I hope he learns from," she said.

The driver, Harley Chubb, 20, of Hogansburg, admitted to second-degree marijuana possession, and passenger Regis Cook, 18, of Nedrow, pleaded guilty to third-degree possession. Both are awaiting sentencing.

Bjornholm said the three had to forfeit a total of $7,692 in cash they had on them when arrested.

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Plea deals fall through in shooting on 19th Street

LOCKPORT -- Two Niagara Falls men did not plead guilty in a gun case Friday, as had been expected, and appear to be headed to trial with a third man Feb. 28.

Brandon H. Carter, 22, of 10th Street, was offered a plea bargain last week in Niagara County Court -- if he gave the district attorney's office a truthful statement about a June 7 shooting incident on 19th Street. Co-defendant Cornelius D. Porter, 17, of Seventh Street, also was offered a plea deal.

However, Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said Friday the deal is off. Carter, she said, "just wasn't cooperative" in an interview Tuesday.

Carter, Porter and Robert L. Howard, 19, of Fourth Street, all gave DNA samples to see if they match DNA found on an assault rifle police seized after a bullet ricocheted off a car and struck a house, narrowly missing two children in the street.

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Falls woman pleads guilty to drug felonies

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls woman pleaded guilty to two drug felonies Friday in Niagara County Court.

Rhiannon M. Kephart, 24, of Pine Avenue, admitted to fifth-degree and attempted fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza could send Kephart to prison for as long as four years when she returns to court April 8.

Kephart had more than half a gram of cocaine in her car when Niagara Falls police stopped her at Lockport Street and Hyde Park Boulevard May 25, 2009, following a report of a hit-and-run collision on Niagara Avenue.

Kephart also was arrested in Newfane Nov. 20, 2009, with a large variety of painkillers and other pills that she intended to sell, Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm charged.

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Repeat DWI offender gets time in prison

LOCKPORT -- Serial drunken driver David A. Marotta was sentenced to 1 1/3 to four years in prison by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza Friday after pleading guilty to a felony count of driving while intoxicated, which constituted a probation violation for a 2006 DWI conviction.

Marotta, 40, of Dysinger Road, Lockport, was arrested Sept. 27 after his car made a left turn into the path of another auto on South Transit Road in Pendleton, causing a crash that injured the other driver, Deputy District Attorney Theodore A. Brenner said. Marotta's blood-alcohol content was measured at .16 percent.

Sperrazza said she wants Marotta assigned to a prison where he can be treated for mental illness as well as alcohol dependency.

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