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POLICE & COURTS

Robber orders teller to hand over cash

NIAGARA FALLS -- A man escaped with an undetermined amount of cash after an armed robbery at the M&T Bank, 750 Main St., at 9:45 a.m. Thursday, police said.

City police Detectives Capt. Ernest C. Palmer said the man, wearing a red coat and a black skull cap and armed with a handgun, jumped behind the counter and ordered the teller to give him cash.

He said the man was seen driving west on Cedar Avenue towards Whirlpool Street in a gray vehicle bearing a blue license plate with white lettering, that might have been out of state.

Anyone with information should contact the detective bureau at 286-4553.

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'Person of interest' emerges in slaying

LOCKPORT -- Lockport police are not ready to make any arrests, but are looking at a "person of interest" in a bludgeoning murder Sunday.

Lockport Detective Capt. Lawrence Eggert said it's too soon to say if the person will be charged in the murder of Robert J. Camarra, 54, who was killed in his West Avenue home.

"There could be a co-conspirator or this could be a setup. It's still too early to say. Until we get a confession, I never commit," said Eggert.

Eggert said police did get a warrant and spent three hours in the person's Park Avenue home looking for evidence. "The results are still to be determined," he said.

He said police have interviewed 30 to 40 people and a motive has become clearer.

"I'm pretty sure we can say this was not a robbery. The motive was more typical of a rage-type crime, someone with intense hatred. It wasn't one blow to the head. It was a pretty bloody scene. This was a nasty one," said Eggert.

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Second of two suspects pleads guilty in robbery

LOCKPORT -- The second of two men charged in the Dec. 9 armed robbery of a Lockport bank pleaded guilty to felony second-degree robbery in Niagara County Court on Thursday.

Marcus Crosby, 20, of Linda Drive in Cheektowaga, was charged with robbing the M&T Bank on Walnut Street at gunpoint. He had originally been charged with first-degree robbery.

Lockport police were able to find the two men a few weeks later by lifting fingerprints from plastic garbage bags that were left behind by the men and running the prints through a database.

Crosby and co-defendant Brandon Murray, 21, of Mortimer Street in Buffalo, confessed to Lockport police that they robbed the bank because they needed the money for Christmas gifts. Crosby remains jailed on $25,000 bail and will be sentenced May 12. Murray pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery Jan. 24 and was scheduled to be sentenced today.

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Burying of solvents, paints brings probation

LOCKPORT -- A Gasport man was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay more than $6,000 in restitution by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza on Thursday for illegally burying more than half a ton of paints and solvents on his Bradley Road property in June 2004. The man still faces possible jail time in an unrelated arson case.

Randy P. Maedl, 52, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, fourth-degree endangering the public health, safety or the environment for taking $300 from Remigius Czekaj, 69, of Mapleton Road, Pendleton, to bury the materials on his property.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation said the buried waste cost $12,258 to clean up and Czekaj was ordered to pay half of that cost at his sentencing in February. Maedl was ordered to pay the other half on Thursday. Czekaj pleaded guilty to the same charge and was granted a conditional discharge.

Maedl still faces sentencing on an unrelated arson charge for soliciting a man to set his ex-girlfriend's Wheatfield home on fire. He pleaded guilty last December to arranging for someone to enter the home of Georgia Korosecz, at 2256 River Road, on Sept. 28, 2003, and set it on fire. The home was a total loss, and two puppies died in the blaze. The arson sentencing was adjourned to April 13.

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Falls woman indicted in drug possession

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls woman was indicted on six counts of drug possession in Niagara County Court on Thursday.

Bail was set at $5,000.

Jillian L. Parker, 21, of Whitney Avenue was charged by Niagara Falls police on Sept. 13 and pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, third degree, for intent to sell cocaine and possession of more than half an ounce of a narcotic.

She was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance for possession of hydrocodone and diazepam.

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DWI guilty plea leads to fine, probation

LOCKPORT -- A North Tonawanda man was fined $1,000, had his license revoked and was sentenced to five years probation after pleading guilty to a felony driving while intoxicated charge in Niagara County Court on Thursday.

Kenneth W. Kumm, 33, of Shawnee Road had been charged June 19 in North Tonawanda for felony driving while intoxicated, no inspection, no insurance, unapproved helmet, unregistered motorcycle, improper motorcycle plates, operating out of class and a lane violation.

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