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Falls man pleads guilty to stabbing

LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man with a history of violence accepted a plea bargain with a guaranteed 10-year prison sentence Friday.

Lawrence J. Smith, 29, admitted knifing a man in a home in the 1500 block of LaSalle Avenue in Niagara Falls. The victim, a friend of Smith’s, was stabbed five or six times in the torso and suffered a punctured lung.

Smith, who listed a Niagara Falls Boulevard motel as his home address, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon agreed to the 10-year sentence, which she will officially impose on Dec. 2.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said it’s the minimum sentence for the charge when committed by a second-time violent felon. The maximum sentence if Smith had been convicted at trial would have been 25 years.

Smith was arrested May 3, four days after the stabbing, at a county welfare office in the Falls.

In 2006, Smith stabbed a Falls woman in the right arm and right collarbone, and two months later he stabbed two men. Both were cut on the left arm and one was also cut on the head and left shoulder.

Smith pleaded guilty to three felony assault charges to settle those cases, and was sentenced to five years in prison by Sheldon in August 2007. Smith violated parole after his initial release and was returned to prison to complete the five years.


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