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Woman who staged drugstore holdup succeeds in diversion

LOCKPORT – The case against a Lockport woman accused of helping her boyfriend stage a purported robbery at a North Tonawanda drugstore was dismissed Wednesday after she went through court-supervised drug treatment.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon threw out the case against Kayla M. Hotalng, 24, of Beattie Avenue. She had pleaded guilty 15 months ago to third-degree grand larceny after setting up an incident at the CVS store on Payne Avenue in North Tonawanda Oct. 3, 2013.

Hotaling, a store employee, made it look as if she had been pistol-whipped by an intruder who stole $3,784. The “intruder” was her boyfriend, Kevin M. Spellane-Newman, 25, of East Amherst, who also pleaded guilty and entered diversion.

In another diversion success, Donald J. Frey, 40, of Lincoln Avenue Extension, Lockport, was granted a conditional discharge by Sheldon Wednesday. He admitted burglarizing a neighbor’s home in 2012; stealing tools, shotguns and scrap metal from a house and garage in Royalton in 2011; and stealing a dead woman’s credit card and running up $677 in charges in 2012.