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Dismissal of charges sought in drowning

Attorneys for a Canadian mother and her friend are making a second attempt to obtain the dismissal of charges filed after the woman's 14-year-old son drowned near Fort Niagara last year.

The lawyers previously argued that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Alexander Montgomery drowned because he got drunk on beer the two adults gave him.

The lawyers are now saying that the defendants have suffered enough because of the death and there is no point in prosecuting them.

The request is being opposed by the Niagara County District Attorney's Office.

Arguments are set for 10 a.m. July 2 before Town Justice David J. Truesdale. If the case is not dismissed, a hearing also is set for that day on the admissibility of statements the two defendants made to police.

Paula Montgomery, 48, and Peter Cooper, 50, of Orillia, Ont., are charged with endangering the welfare of a child and providing alcohol to an underage drinker.

Alexander Montgomery, who was at the fort on Labor Day weekend for a War of 1812 historical re-enactment, allegedly was given two or three beers on the night of Sept. 3 before falling into Lake Ontario in the early hours of Sept. 4.

His body was found in shallow water near the breakwater at the mouth of the Niagara River, and State Parks Police said a toxicology test showed a blood alcohol level of .11 percent.

Andrew C. LoTempio, the attorney for Paula Montgomery, filed the motion, and Mark J. Mahoney, Cooper's lawyer, said he will adopt the motion for his client, too.

"Does it really make sense to have a criminal prosecution on top of all this grief?" Mahoney asked last week.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Scalzo said he has filed a response to the motion but declined further comment.

Court officials said no trial date has been set in the case.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com