Woman, 57, sentenced for violating probation
LOCKPORT -- A former Clarence woman who tried to hire a hit man to firebomb her neighbors' home was sentenced Friday for violating probation and ordered to continue electronic monitoring for at least another year.
Shirley A. Rybacki, 57, said her electronic monitor was not activated because she forgot to pay for the service, blaming the lapse on "short-term memory loss," and is now being treated for the condition by a doctor. James J. Faso, her attorney, called the probation violation "a technicality."
Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza said she is concerned that Rybacki still believes she did nothing wrong and ordered her to return to court to be re-evaluated at the end of the year.
Ryback, arrested July 31, 2005, is accused of offering $1,000 to a police informant in the Seneca Niagara Casino to throw firebombs in the doorways of her neighbors' home. The informant told police that Rybacki thought shooting her neighbors would be too messy. She completed a six-month jail term and is serving five years of probation.
Faso said Rybacki has sold her house in Clarence. However, her former neighbor told the court he considers Rybacki "very dangerous" because she has shown no remorse.
2 Falls men free on bail in separate drug cases
LOCKPORT -- Two Niagara Falls men arraigned in unrelated drug possession cases pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court on Thursday and are free on $5,000 bail apiece.
Wilbert Hayes III, 21, of Pierce Avenue, was charged Aug. 3 in Niagara Falls with two counts of criminal possession of cocaine with intent to sell 3.94 ounces of the drug and fourth-degree possession for having slightly less than half an ounce. Hayes and several others were charged following a drug raid. Co-defendants named in the case are Cory Mayfield, 21, of Linwood Avenue, and Rashie Perry, 20, of 18th Street, authorities said.
Also arraigned in an unrelated case was Gregory R. Pryor Jr., 20, also of Pierce Avenue. Pryor was charged Oct. 4 in Niagara Falls with third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of cocaine with intent to sell more than 20 ounces of the drug, and unlawful possession of marijuana -- less than a quarter of a gram, authorities said.
Reward in 2005 killing increased to $100,000
BATAVIA -- What is believed to be the largest reward ever offered to solve a crime in Genesee County is the $100,000 for the arrest and conviction of the killer in November 2005 of William M. Fickel, 46.
Fickel's widow, Lisa, has increased the reward from $30,000, an amount raised by family, friends and Time Warner, where Fickel was employed at the time he was gunned down outside his home in Oakfield.
Two in Falls, Ont., seized on drug charges
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- Two Niagara Falls residents were arrested on drug charges Thursday after Niagara Regional Police raided their home and uncovered evidence they were trafficking in cocaine and prescription drugs, police said.
Ronald Collins, 60, and Brandi Rivard, 29, were both charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and two counts of possessing a controlled substance. Rivard also was charged with breach of a bail recognizance, police said.
Police also seized cash, cocaine, prescription drugs and property believed to have been stolen and exchanged as payment for drugs.
Collins and Rivard were taken into custody pending court action.