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Man enters plea in attempted murder

A man who had been charged with the attempted murder of a North Tonawanda woman Nov. 11 pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Friday in Niagara County Court.

Juan M. Cox, 30, of 24th Street, Niagara Falls, admitted to second-degree assault and was scheduled for sentencing Aug. 30 by Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. The judge agreed to sentence Cox to no more than five years in prison when combining the assault charge with a drug indictment to which Cox is expected to plead guilty Monday.

When the beating of the woman occurred, Cox was out on bail after being indicted on cocaine and marijuana possession charges. Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said the 29-year-old victim suffered permanent head injuries.

Defense attorney Robert Viola said, "[Cox] did intend to cause some serious impairment -- protracted impairment."

In another case, Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza raised bail to $200,000 for Wayne A. Tabb, accused of the near-fatal shooting of a Niagara Falls man April 29.

Tabb pleaded not guilty Friday to two counts each of first-degree assault, first-degree criminal use of a firearm and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Assistant District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann asked for Tabb's bail to be increased from the $150,000 he had been held on since his arraignment in Niagara Falls City Court after his May 16 arrest. He is charged with shooting Preston S. Edwards II, 25, of Niagara Falls, in the chest with a shotgun.

"This case involves a close-range shooting of a man who nearly died," Hoffmann told the judge. "He did lose a lung."

Hoffmann said Tabb fled to Buffalo and was arrested in the Freund Street home of a relative of his girlfriend, Dawn S. Margat, 20, of 66th Street, Niagara Falls, who was charged with hindering prosecution.

Hoffmann said she believes Tabb was planning to go out of state, adding that Margat was arrested as she went to pick up Tabb's last paycheck.

Defense attorney Angelo Musitano asked for "reasonable" bail.

Hoffmann told Sperrazza she had several witnesses to the shooting, but Musitano said that when two of them testified at a May 25 preliminary hearing, they changed stories they gave to police and denied Tabb had anything to do with the shooting.

Hoffmann said one of those witnesses, Terry Lee Hamilton, 24, of Portage Road, Niagara Falls, has been charged with committing perjury at the hearing, and charges are being considered against the other witness.


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