• Published

LOCKPORT – Success and failure in the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment were on display Friday in Niagara County Court.

County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas hailed Melinda A. Wagner, 29, of Strauss Road, Lockport, a former painkiller addict who has done well enough over the past two years to have her 2011 third-degree burglary conviction canceled and replaced by a misdemeanor, second-degree criminal trespass, with a probation sentence.

On the other hand, Farkas booted Steven C. Lewis out of the program after he was charged with a new burglary.

Lewis, 25, of Third Street, Youngstown, entered diversion almost a year ago after pleading guilty to third-degree burglary for a break-in attempt Dec. 3, 2012, on Ulrich Drive in Porter. He now faces up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced April 11.

“When this works, it really works. When it doesn’t, it’s pretty devastating,” Farkas said.

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