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Mentally disabled man gets brief jail term in fatal crash

A mentally disabled man who was drunk when he crashed his car and killed his passenger received a brief jail sentence and probation Friday from Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr.

"I do think you need some help. I don't think you're a fit candidate for warehousing," Broderick told Shawn A. Lysaght, 27, of 72nd Street, Niagara Falls.

Lysaght pleaded guilty Nov. 16 to criminally negligent homicide and a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated in the July 30 crash that killed Leon LaRoche, 64, of Niagara Falls.

Broderick ordered Lysaght to jail for six months to begin a five-year probation stint. He could have sent Lysaght to prison for up to four years.

Lysaght's car was going about 75 mph in the rain when it ran off a curve on Saunders Settlement Road in Lewiston and struck a utility pole, a parked van and a house, authorities said.

Lysaght's attorney, James J. Faso, produced a 1994 letter from a doctor, diagnosing Lysaght as mentally impaired.

After his marriage came apart and he was arrested in March 2005 on charges of assaulting his wife, Lysaght moved in with his friend LaRoche.

"I was trying to get my life together," Lysaght said Friday.

In other action in Broderick's court Friday, a Porter man became the third defendant to plead guilty in the June 1 baseball bat beating of a Lockport man outside Jimmy B's, a nightclub on South Transit Road in Pendleton. A fourth defendant saw his charges dismissed.

Matthew J. Vanderhider, 21, of Creek Road, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree assault and was scheduled for sentencing June 5. But Broderick threw out the charges against Zachery K. Barrand, 22, of Upper Mountain Road, Pekin, after all the other defendants agreed Barrand wasn't even at the scene.

Previously, Derek S. Kast, 21, of Crosby Road, Lockport, and James R. Carroll, 20, of Human Road, Cambria, had pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. Charges remain pending against Kristin Pattison, 18, of Carter Drive, Cambria, who was accused of driving the others to the scene.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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