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MAN IN CRASH OF STOLEN CAR INTO HOUSE PLEADS GUILTY

Thomas Augello pleaded guilty Thursday to driving a stolen car into the basement of a Cheektowaga home early on New Year's Day.

Augello, 20, of 11 Roberts Drive, Lancaster, told State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang he doesn't remember much about the crash at 2625 William St. and admitted he had been drinking that night.

Justice Wolfgang allowed him to remain free on $5,000 bail and told him she probably will send him to jail for six months when she sentences him May 18.

Prosecutor Leonard E. Krawczyk Jr. said Augello caused more than $25,000 damage to the home of Stanley and Mary Filipiak when the car he stole on St. Felix Avenue, off William Street, that morning hit the home about at 4:30.

Augello, who was hospitalized for 23 days in Erie County Medical Center, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of aggravated unlicensed driving, and drunken driving, stolen-car and criminal-mischief charges.

Krawczyk said the unlicensed- driving charge was a felony because Augello was drunk and had been convicted in 1992 of driving while impaired by alcohol.

Court officials said Augello could face a prison term of up to four years on his plea.

Krawczyk said the stolen car hit the front right side of the Filipiak house, destroying the bathroom and living room and ending up in the basement.

The Filipiaks escaped injury and their home is being repaired, Krawczyk said.

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