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OLEAN RESIDENT IS INDICTED IN MURDER OF CUBA MAN

BELMONT -- Michael J. Johnson, 30, of Olean, was indicted by an Allegany County grand jury Wednesday on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of a Cuba man Nov. 20.

Johnson had been charged in April with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Kevin Collins. He is being held without bail in the Tioga County Jail. The case has been assigned to Allegany County Judge James E. Euken.

District Attorney Terrence Parker said Johnson was an inmate in the Cattaraugus County Jail in Little Valley from shortly after Collins was found dead in his Cuba Lake home until his arrest on the murder charge. At the time, he was being held on a probation violation count, said Parker.

Parker said State Police investigators discovered trace evidence linking Johnson to the crime in Collins' car, which was discovered in an Olean parking lot.

Jury selection is complete
for beating-death trial

MAYVILLE -- Jury selection was completed Wednesday afternoon for one of the two Jamestown-area men accused of beating a Sugar Grove, Pa., man to death Dec. 8 in Busti.

The 12-person jury will hear the case of Nicholas J. Osman, 20, of Kennedy, beginning Tuesday morning at 9:30. Osman and Steven D. Bush, 22, of Frewsburg, are each charged with second-degree murder in the death of Robert J. Olds, 42.

Olds was beaten, and his body was found next to his car near the intersection of Donelson Road and South Main Street Extension after the car slid into a ditch.

Osman and Bush reportedly crashed a cab they allegedly had stolen in the early morning of Dec. 8. They were both located at a house several miles away later that day.

Bush's trial is set to begin Nov. 27.

Three West Side homes
ransacked by armed men

Two men armed with a handgun forced their way into the homes of West Side residents in three incidents Tuesday, according to Northwest District police reports.

A Dewitt Street man told officers two men forced their way into his upper apartment about 5:45 p.m. He reported he was assaulted with a handgun, tied up with a cord and put into a closet. The man's apartment was ransacked; house keys, identification and jewelry were taken, he told officers.

Two men forced an Auburn Avenue resident into his home at gunpoint about 8:20 p.m., according to reports. The men, who demanded money, ordered the resident to the floor as they went through his home. Cash and identification were taken from the victim's wallet before the men ripped his telephone from the wall and fled.

A similar incident occurred early Tuesday on Richmond Avenue, where two occupants of an apartment were bound with electrical cord and duct tape and threatened with a handgun. That apartment also was ransacked, and two telephones and several hundred dollars were reported stolen.

It is not known whether police believe the three crimes are related.

$45,000 Akron house fire
blamed on attic-light short

A short-circuit in an attic light is blamed for a fire that caused an estimated $45,000 damage to an Akron home early Wednesday.

Homeowner Joseph Ludwig of 16 Marshall Ave. reported the fire at 1:56 a.m.

Volunteers from the Akron, Newstead and Clarence Center fire companies brought the fire under control within 30 minutes. One firefighter suffered a minor head injury and was treated at the scene.

Damage was estimated at $30,000 to the building and $15,000 to the contents.

Falls man reports robbery
by three on Walnut Avenue

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Pine Avenue man was mugged and robbed of $195 at gunpoint late Tuesday night on the 800 block of Walnut Avenue, Officer Thomas Volk said Wednesday.

Michael R. Currie, 24, said he was walking down the street about 8:20 p.m. when three men jumped him, punched him, and then one held a gun to his head, demanding his wallet, Volk said.

Niagara Falls man denies
driving a stolen car

NIAGARA FALLS -- Kenny Moore, 39, of Niagara Avenue, accused of driving a stolen car, pleaded not guilty Wednesday at his City Court arraignment to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property.

Moore was arrested at 1 p.m. Tuesday when Officer Christine Zell said she spotted him driving a 1989 Ford Tempo at Calumet Avenue and 20th Street that Michael Thomas, of Mackenna Avenue, reported stolen Monday.

Judge Kathleen Wojtaszek-Gariano granted Moore an adjournment until an Oct. 1 preliminary hearing and set his bail at $1,000.

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