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Niagara Falls man jailed after DA accuses him of involvement in homicide

A Niagara Falls man was jailed without bail Wednesday after a prosecutor accused him of involvement in an Oct. 13 homicide in the Falls.

Darius L. Bray (Courtesy Niagara County Sheriff's Office)

Darius L. Bray, 23, of Pine Avenue, had just pleaded guilty to a gun possession charge in connection with a May 12 incident when Niagara County Second Assistant District Attorney Mary Jean Bowman rose, brandishing screen shots taken from a surveillance video at the Coastal gas station at 19th Street and Walnut Avenue.

That's where Denzel Lewis, 21, allegedly shot and killed Lerowne Harris, 35, on Oct. 13. Bowman said the photos showed Bray arriving in Lewis' car and giving him a dark object about an hour before the homicide. Another showed Bray standing next to Harris as the latter was shot. Bowman said Bray was one of those who rode in the car that took the victim to a hospital, where he died.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. immediately ordered Bray incarcerated, even though he has not been charged with anything in connection with the killing. Bowman had told Kloch at Bray's arraignment on the May 12 case that she had police intelligence linking Bray to the distribution of guns in Niagara Falls.

Bray faces up to seven years in prison on Wednesday's guilty plea to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was charged with attempting to rob a drug dealer at gunpoint May 12 at Ferry Avenue and Eighth Street in the Falls. The dealer tried to wrestle the gun away from Bray and it went off, with a bullet striking the dealer in the arm.

Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwell said that plea from Bray, who had no criminal record before that, would lead to dismissal of charges against a co-defendant in the attempted robbery, Dionte D. Dolson, 23, of McKoon Avenue in the Falls. Kloch scheduled Bray's sentencing for Dec. 13.

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