Teen mulls intoxication defense in NT press box break-in - The Buffalo News

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Teen mulls intoxication defense in NT press box break-in

LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls teenager said Thursday that he wants to explore an intoxication defense in connection with a March 9 break-in at the press box above the football field behind North Tonawanda High School, where $4,295 in damage was done by intruders.

Isaiah J. Neal, 17, of Ontario Avenue, Niagara Falls, was on the point of accepting a preindictment plea offer to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary, when Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III asked him what he did inside the press box.

“I honestly don’t remember. I was drinking,” Neal replied.

“Well, there is something called a defense of drunkenness,” Murphy said. After a short huddle with Neal, Assistant Public Defender Michael E. Benedict announced that Neal didn’t want to plead guilty because of the alleged intoxication. The case was adjourned until Aug. 14.

The state Penal Law says intoxication isn’t a defense as such, but the law adds that a defendant can present evidence of his intoxication if it’s relevant toward negating any element of the crime he’s charged with.

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