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POLICE & COURTS

>Driver pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter

BELMONT -- A Rushford man pleaded guilty Wednesday in Allegany County Court to second- degree vehicular manslaughter.

Toby J. Taylor, 21, pleaded before Judge James E. Euken, who scheduled sentencing for next Wednesday.

District Attorney Terrence M. Parker said Taylor was drunk when he drove recklessly, causing the death of James D. Bliss on Nov. 12 in Rushford.

He had been charged at the time with driving while intoxicated and the manslaughter count, and Parker said his plea Wednesday clears both.

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>DWI charge follows three-car crash

FREDONIA -- Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies arrested a Fredonia woman on a charge of driving while intoxicated Monday afternoon following a three-car crash in the Town of Pomfret.

Deputies were called to the intersection of Routes 20 and 60 a little after 5 p.m.

Deputies allege that Mary Meder, 44, of Fredonia, was following too closely and struck a car in front of her, which struck a car in front of it. No injuries were reported.

Meder was ticketed for DWI and following too closely and will appear in court at a later date.

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>Trial in man's slaying rescheduled to Aug. 6

ALBION -- A murder trial for a Somerset man accused of killing a young man helping police investigate fur thefts in 1986 is scheduled to get under way Aug. 6.

Paul Rutherford Sr., 54, was charged with murder last July after a three-year investigation linked him to the slaying of Randy Neal, 19, on June 2, 1986. His trial was to begin this month but was delayed by defense motions.

An Orleans County judge ordered the new trial date Monday.

Neal, whose throat was cut as he slept at his home on Murdock Road in Ridgeway, also suffered multiple knife wounds to his arms, face and neck. Authorities said Rutherford was an accomplice of Harry Ayrhart Jr., 44, who was convicted of Neal's murder in 1987 and is still serving a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

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