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POLICE & COURTS - Niagara

Murder suspect faces charges of robbing kin

NIAGARA FALLS -- A man being held in the homicide of a Lewiston couple was charged Wednesday with robbing his brother at knifepoint the day before the slayings.

Mark Pelfrey, 25, of Eighth Street, was charged Wednesday with felony robbery and felony burglary. He pleaded not guilty in City Court. Bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 property. Pelfrey remains in Niagara County Jail without bail on two counts of murder in the deaths of Gordon and Margaret Sandstrom.

Pelfrey is accused of stealing $174 and a PlayStation system from his brother Aug. 29.

Daniel Pelfrey told police that he kicked his brother out of his home a few days before when he found him using crack cocaine and that Mark Pelfrey came back with another man and took his money and his game system.

Mark Pelfrey is suspected of killing the Sandstroms Aug. 30, using their automated teller machine card and then fleeing in their vehicle to Virginia in search of his estranged girlfriend, the Sandstroms' daughter, Kathy.

Pelfrey was extradited from Virginia on Monday.

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Not guilty plea entered by woman in drug case

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls woman pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court on Wednesday to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.

Salih M. Young, 22, of Dudley Avenue, was arrested March 18 after a domestic dispute at a home on Belden Place. Police said they found crack cocaine at the home.

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3 teens plead not guilty in gun-possession case

LOCKPORT -- Three Niagara Falls teens were arraigned in Niagara County Court on Wednesday on charges of possessing a .25-caliber pistol.

Antonio D. Porter Jr., 19, of Ninth Street; his brother Marvin E. Porter, 17, of Ferry Avenue; and Brian D. Harris II, 17, of Monteagle Street, all pleaded not guilty to third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Assistant District Attorney Michael W. McNelis said the handgun was seized April 22 in a police raid on a Ninth Street house.

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Crack addict car thief draws 7 1/2 -year sentence

An already imprisoned Niagara Falls crack addict was sentenced Tuesday to 7 1/2 years behind bars.

Anthony C. Leslie, 33, was ordered by Erie County Judge Michael F. Pietruska to serve a combined 10-year prison term on his guilty pleas for two May 28, 2004, incidents of Buffalo car thefts and a day-earlier domestic violence incident involving a Niagara Falls woman.

Leslie has been in Elmira Correctional Facility since Aug. 2 on a 2 1/2 -to-five-year prison term imposed by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza July 15.

Prosecutors said the Sperrazza sentence was linked to Leslie's robbery plea for the theft of $242 from a Niagara Falls man in May 2004, after he drove back from Buffalo in his second stolen car.

About 7:40 a.m. that day he carjacked a car at Fillmore Avenue and Sycamore Street. He abandoned that car after confronting and slashing a 24-year-old Loepere Street woman, stealing her car about 10 a.m. and driving back to Niagara Falls.

Three months ago Leslie accepted a prosecution plea deal on his three Erie County cases, including a May 27, 2004, domestic violence incident, prosecutors said.

The term Pietruska imposed is concurrent with the sentence Sperrazza imposed.

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DWI conviction results in jail time, probation

LOCKPORT -- One man was sentenced in Niagara County Court on Wednesday for a felony count of driving while intoxicated, while another man pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Ernest R. Brabec, 49, of Lower River Road, Lewiston, was sentenced by Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza to five years' probation, which will begin with six months in jail. He also was fined $2,000. Brabec was arrested in Lewiston June 8.

Mark F. Carberry, 37, of Niagara Street, City of Tonawanda, pleaded guilty to felony DWI and will be sentenced by Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. on Nov. 22. Carberry was arrested May 7 in North Tonawanda.

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Domestic harassment results in probation

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza placed a Niagara Falls man on three years' probation Wednesday for violating a court order by making harassing phone calls to his estranged wife.

Lyle R. Grandy, 32, of Ninth Street, had pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal contempt of court. The calls were made May 29.

In a similar case, Sperrazza scheduled sentencing Nov. 10 for Lee R. Carter, 25, of Elmwood Avenue, Niagara Falls. Carter pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal contempt and attempted second-degree assault.

Carter assaulted his girlfriend Jan. 1 in Lockport; called her Feb. 25 to try to persuade her not to testify against him; broke into her Niagara Falls apartment July 15; and phoned her repeatedly July 29.

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