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The sentencing of John W. Scott Jr., convicted of stabbing a 26-year-old man to death a year ago, was postponed Friday when Scott's defense attorney was delayed by another court hearing.

The attorney, George V.C. Muscato of Lockport, telephoned the Niagara County Courthouse an hour before Scott's scheduled hearing to say that he couldn't be present.

The adjournment was another agonizing delay for the family of the dead man, Franklin P. Wagner, who lived on High Street. Wagner had worked at the Pizza Oven on Vine Street for five years.

"It's been frustrating from the beginning," said the victim's father, Franklin R. Wagner. "Ever since they let him out on bail."

After Scott was indicted in the slaying, Niagara County Judge Amy J. Fricano set bail at $1,000, considered unusually low for a homicide case. Scott, 46, of Walnut Street, made bail, but was arrested the next day on a parole violation. Scott's record includes two previous convictions for child sexual abuse.

Prosecutor Ronald J. Winter said Scott, who is being held in Niagara County Jail, will be back in court Sept. 20 to admit or deny that he is a persistent violent felon.

If he denies it, which is expected, a hearing will be set for sometime in October, at which time Scott is expected to be sentenced, Winter said.

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