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Niagara County inmate who broke jail sprinkler headed to state prison

LOCKPORT – A Niagara County Jail inmate who broke the sprinkler head in his cell last year soon will have a new cell, in a state prison.

County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III on Friday sentenced Daryl A. Smith to 16 months to four years in prison for third-degree criminal mischief. Once he is released, he will owe $7,500 in restitution to Niagara County.

Smith, 20, of Rapin Place, Buffalo, has been in jail since June 3, when he was arrested after a stolen car chase in the Town of Lockport. On July 25, Smith broke the sprinkler, leading to heavy water damage in the cell and on the floor below it.

“What you did was as a destructive act,” Murphy said. “You might not have appreciated the consequences at the time, but you did a lot of damage.”

Defense attorney Jenelle Messer scoffed, “If not for the value of the carpet at the Sheriff’s Department, this would have been an A or a B misdemeanor … It was a heat-of-the-moment thing. He was angry.”