FIRE THAT KILLED FATHER, SON IS RULED ACCIDENTAL
The fire that killed a 44-year-old Lackawanna man and his 4-year-old son three weeks ago has been officially ruled an accident, Lackawanna police said Monday.
Edison "Clay" Minor and his son, Naasir, were trapped in the rear bedroom of the burning home at 149 Point St., where the fire started on the stove.
Detectives have confirmed that the wife and mother of the two victims had turned on two burners on the stove, to take some chill out of the air, right before she left for work that morning.
"It's strictly going to be ruled accidental, from the stove," Capt. Ronald Miller, chief of detectives, said Monday. "It's just a tragic accident."
GIRLFRIEND ARRESTED IN BID TO FREE SUSPECT
Veleda Davis came to Erie County Court on Monday to lend moral support to her boyfriend, Mario Webster. She left in handcuffs.
Davis, 22, was arrested on charges of promoting prison contraband after she twice tried to give Webster keys to open handcuffs while he was being held last week in the Erie County Holding Center, officials said.
Webster, charged with murder in the shooting death of another man, was being arraigned by Judge Michael L. D'Amico when sheriff's deputies took Davis into custody. She was taken to the holding center.
Webster, meanwhile, remained held without bail after he pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and weapons charges in an indictment handed up by an Erie County grand jury in the death of Eddie Fountaine Jr. Fountaine's body was found by police Oct. 5 in a Schuele Street house officers said was a drug house.
MAN TELLS OF ABDUCTION BY TWO, BEATING, ROBBERY
A 38-year-old Buffalo man told police he was kidnapped for three days, beaten and robbed of $268 before he was released by his two captors Monday.
The man was treated in Buffalo General Hospital for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, police said.
South District police said the victim was at South Park and Dorrance avenues at about 10 a.m. Friday when he was approached by two men, who punched and robbed him and dragged him into the back seat of a gray car. Police said the assailants then drove him through the city, but it was unclear what else occurred during the ordeal.
The victim told police he was dumped out of the vehicle at Fillmore Avenue and Howard Street at about 11 a.m. Monday.
EAST SIDE MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN STREET SHOOTING
A Crossman Avenue man was jailed Monday after he pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge for shooting a Buffalo man nine times during an altercation nearly three months ago.
Arthur Lewis, 23, who had been free on $30,000 bail, was jailed after he pleaded guilty before Erie County Judge Timothy J. Drury to shooting Jonnie L. White, 30, at Genesee Street and Jefferson Avenue on Aug. 5. The conviction carries a possible 15-year prison term when Lewis is sentenced in two months.
Prosecutors Tina M. Stanford and Joseph A. Agro said Lewis was arrested at about 1:45 a.m. by Ferry-Fillmore District Officers Michael Stroebel and Chad Maloney, who stopped his blood-spattered car moments after the incident.
Prosecutors have never determined a motive for the shooting. White is recuperating from gunshot wounds to the stomach, foot and calf.
VEHICLES SPRAY-PAINTED WITH PROFANITIES
MIDDLEPORT -- Somebody with idle hands and a can of gray spray paint was busy Saturday night. Five residents here reported someone spray-painted profanities on their vehicles.
Two Johnson Creek Road residents told Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Harrer someone wrote profanities on their vehicles as well. Three residents on Mill Road also reported similar damages done to their vehicles.
All of the complainants told Harrer they believed they could remove the paint without too much trouble.
VANDERLINDE ATTORNEY PRESSES INSANITY DEFENSE
Hours after killing her 8-month-old daughter outside her Kenmore Avenue apartment building, Kirsten Vanderlinde told detectives she would assault her child again "for world peace," a judge learned Monday.
As attorney John R. Nuchereno pressed his insanity defense for the former Buffalo substitute teacher, he got police officers to admit before Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman that Vanderlinde made a series of "odd" statements hours after the baby died May 28.
Under questioning by Nuchereno, Detective Sgt. Philip Torre also said he determined Vanderlinde shouldn't be required to make a written signed statement during the interrogation at Police Headquarters because "I just didn't feel she understood what was going on."
Troutman, who has scheduled a murder trial for Feb. 23, is slated to conduct further pretrial proceedings next month.
$1,000 NECKLACE STOLEN FROM WOMAN'S BEDROOM
LOCKPORT -- An Applewood Drive resident told a Niagara County sheriff's deputy Monday afternoon someone took a gold necklace with three diamonds, valued at $1,000, from her bedroom sometime over the past week.
The woman said a new lock was recently installed on her bedroom and she suspects a woman in the theft.