LOCKPORT – Donald Rodgers Jr. of Niagara Falls, accused in two home invasions and two drive-by shootings, accepted the first part of a two-pronged plea offer Tuesday in Niagara County Court, and he has a week to consider a second plea.
Rodgers, 22, of Cudaback Avenue, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, covering a pair of attacks last fall on Jeffrey Crockett, a man who took up with Rodgers’ ex-girlfriend. Rodgers, Sharod L. Gulley, 17, of Cudaback Avenue, and an unidentified third assailant beat Crockett Sept. 11 in the girlfriend’s Memorial Parkway home. On Oct. 18, Crockett was shot in the arm in another attack. Gulley pleaded guilty last week in the Sept. 11 attack.
In those two incidents, Rodgers faces a seven-year maximum sentence, plus three years of post-release supervision. He also was offered a chance to plead guilty to a single Class E felony to cover the drive-by shootings. One occurred June 18; the second he has yet to be formally charged with, Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said. No one was hurt in either incident.
County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III promised concurrent sentencing if Rodgers pleads guilty, meaning no additional jail time for the gunfire. Hoffmann said she is prepared to seek indictments on two Class C felonies if Rodgers doesn’t accept the plea, meaning up to 30 more years in prison if he is convicted of both shootings.