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POLICE & COURTS

TWO WOMEN INDICTED OVER INSURANCE CLAIM

LOCKPORT -- Two women have been indicted on charges that they worked together to falsify a $6,000 auto injury insurance claim.

Ann Cain, 51, of Lonnen Road, Somerset, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court to third-degree insurance fraud, third-degree grand larceny and fifth-degree conspiracy. Cheryl Wagner, 37, of Lonnen Road, is awaiting arraignment on the same charges.

Wagner suffered a fractured pelvis April 17, 2003. Prosecutors allege that she was struck by a car insured by Cain and that Cain's insurance company paid more than $6,000 worth of medical bills. But the circumstances of the incident are under dispute.

Prosecutors say the incident occurred in the Newfane salvage yard operated by Cain's son and Wagner's girlfriend, David R. Cain Jr., 34, of Lonnen Road. David Cain pleaded not guilty to an assault charge in the matter Oct. 13. Prosecutors allege he intentionally ran Wagner over.

But the insurance forms allegedly said that Wagner left the car in neutral and it backed over her at the end of the Lonnen Road driveway.

PLEA OF NOT GUILTY ENTERED IN BREAK-IN

LOCKPORT -- A Sweetwood Drive man pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court to allegations that he broke into a High Street woman's home June 30.

Tracy Maracle, 34, is charged with second-degree burglary, fourth-degree criminal mischief and petit larceny.

TRIAL IS UNDER WAY IN 2003 SHOOTING CASE

LOCKPORT -- Norman J. Pryor's trial on charges that he shot a man to death in a melee outside a Niagara Falls restaurant last year is under way in Niagara County Court.

Pryor, 26, of Robinson Court, Niagara Falls, is accused of the killing of Joshua Hunt, 19, of Ontario Avenue, Niagara Falls, on July 6, 2003.

A police officer testified at a pretrial hearing that Pryor told a jailhouse informant that he killed Hunt because Hunt had just shot to death Shaloin Smith, 26, of Royal Avenue, who owed Pryor money he would thus have been unable to collect.

SPECIAL PROSECUTOR NAMED IN OFFICER'S TRIAL

MAYVILLE -- Chautauqua County Judge John Ward has named a special prosecutor in the case of a Jamestown police officer accused of harassment and stalking.

Former Erie County District Attorney Edward Cosgrove of Buffalo will try the case of Officer Michael Watson, who is charged with two counts of first-degree harassment and four counts of second-degree harassment.

Ward recently agreed to recuse the offices of District Attorney James Subjack and City Judge John LaMancuso from the case due to possible conflicts of interest.

Subjack said that the Watson case will be tried in Chautauqua County.

Watson, who has been suspended from his job, has been named as a person of interest in the case of Yolanda Bindics, 26, of Jamestown, who has been missing since Aug. 10. The charges are not related to that case.

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