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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Man, 22, pleads guilty to striking girlfriend

LOCKPORT -- Town of Lockport man pleaded guilty to a felony and a misdemeanor Wednesday before Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr., who scheduled sentencing May 30.

Christopher R. Edmister, 22, of Gardenwood Drive, admitted to attempted third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree criminal trespass.

Edmister struck his girlfriend and threatened her with a 12-gauge shotgun June 8, and on Nov. 11, he illegally entered a woman's home in the City of Lockport.

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Erie County prosecutor likely in Fricano case

LOCKPORT -- It appeared likely Wednesday that an Erie County assistant district attorney would be chosen to prosecute State Supreme Court Justice Amy J. Fricano, arrested Monday in Lockport on charges of driving under the influence of drugs.

Niagara County District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III said his Erie County counterpart, Frank J. Clark, told him his staff would be willing to take the case. Clark could not be reached to comment.

Murphy had to withdraw from the case because Fricano worked for him as a prosecutor before she became a judge. Murphy said the order for a special prosecutor would likely be signed by State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr., but Kloch's staff said no such document had been received yet.

Fricano is due in Lockport Town Court on May 1 to answer the drugged driving count and a charge of failure to keep right, and she has a Lockport City Court date the same day to answer two other moving violations.

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Crash victim accepts $3.76 million settlement

A Lockport woman has agreed to a $3.76 million cash settlement from a Minnesota company in connection with a crash that left her with permanent injuries.

Michael J. Lovecchio, the attorney for Errin Doyle, said attorneys for Gelco Co. of Eden Prairie, Minn., made the cash offer on the eve of a negligence trial before State Supreme Court Justice Ralph A. Boniello III and a Niagara Falls jury.

Doyle was injured when her vehicle was rear-ended after a Gelco pickup heading south on Route 364 in Ontario County struck her vehicle and others Feb. 17, 2003, Lovecchio said.

She will get her full cash settlement within the next 21 days, Lovecchio said.

Doyle had to undergo lower back surgery after what turned into a four-vehicle pileup. She may need additional surgery and likely will be taking pain medication for the rest of her life, Lovecchio said.

Though the accident was in Ontario County and involved a suit against an out-of-state company, the negligence suit was assigned to Niagara County because of Doyle's residence, Lovecchio said.

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