LOCKPORT – Two women screamed angrily at Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon on Friday after she imposed what they deemed a weak sentence in the case of three women who injured four other women in a Niagara Falls brawl that was set up on social media.
Sheldon said that the assailants had razors concealed in their fists and inflicted “horrific” injuries on the victims in the July 10, 2013, fight on 18th Street, which drew a crowd of about 30, lured by a series of Twitter posts. Four women were beaten, with three reportedly suffering permanent scarring from blade wounds.
But the courtroom erupted when Sheldon sentenced one of the attackers, Angelina E. Wilson, 25, to five years’ probation with four months of weekends in jail.
“Are you kidding me?” shouted a woman who was apparently one of the victims. Another woman repeatedly screamed, “You gave her no justice.”
Security officers hustled the two women out of the courtroom.
Earlier, two other women stormed out of the courtroom when Sheldon gave a straight five-year probation sentence to another of the attackers, Jessica Levick, 29. However, they said nothing and returned to see Wilson’s sentencing.
The third attacker, Deasia Mays, 19, received an adjournment of sentencing to June 19 because she had hired a new lawyer Thursday.
Sheldon could have given all three women state prison sentences of up to seven years. But when they pleaded guilty to second-degree assault last September, she promised them a stretch on interim probation.
“Why this outburst?” Sheldon asked Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwell. “Didn’t you tell them that if (the defendants) did well on interim probation, they would get probation?”
Caldwell said she didn’t think they had performed well. She said Wilson had been charged with allowing Nicholas Levick, a member of a co-defendant’s family, into her house with a handgun. She also said the three defendants had been in touch with each other via Facebook, and the prosecutor said Sheldon had warned them to avoid contact with each other.
Sheldon said she checked the records and couldn’t find any evidence that she had issued such an instruction, although she imposed it Friday as a condition of probation.
As for the gun case against Wilson, Sheldon said she wouldn’t consider that. “That’s a separate case. It may not be going anywhere,” the judge said.
Two weeks ago, Sheldon had said, “I am not impressed with what these young women have done on interim probation.”
Friday, she said the weekend jail sentence for Wilson, which starts Friday, “reflects my displeasure with her relationship with Mr. Levick, which she says is over.”
One of the victims needed stitches in her eye and was left with vision problems, Caldwell said at a November court date in the case.
A second was left with scars on her face, arms, legs and breasts; a third was scarred on the arm; and a fourth was bruised and scraped but not cut.
Defense attorney James J. Faso Jr. said Levick and Wilson went to the fight to help Mays.
Jessica Levick said, “There were 30 people outside. You can’t pinpoint who did what.”
Sheldon replied, “You have that mental attitude of street justice.”