LOCKPORT – Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas postponed sentencing Thursday for a Grand Island man because the defendant needs to have his wrist broken.
Louis M. Rafe, 26, of Monica Lane, broke his wrist in an altercation in a drug treatment facility, Assistant Public Defender Charles F. Pittaresi said. Rafe said his doctor wants to re-break and reset the bone so it heals properly. Farkas put off sentencing until Sept. 18 so that can happen.
Rafe, a second-time felon, is facing mandatory state prison time for his guilty plea to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal mischief. Rafe was originally charged with arson in connection with a June 30, 2012, vehicle fire in Niagara Falls. He was accused of torching the truck because its owner allegedly had become involved with Rafe’s girlfriend.
Rafe’s statement to police quoted him as admitting that he cut the truck’s fuel line with a knife. Thursday, Pitarresi insisted it was the less volatile brake line.
Assistant District Attorney Heather A. DeCastro said drug treatment seems to have done Rafe some good, saying, “At the beginning of this case, Mr. Rafe was a complete and total mess.”