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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Tampering with pool damages basement

WHEATFIELD -- A Woodland Court man told Niagara County sheriff's deputies that someone removed the filter cap on his in-ground pool and turned on the pump, allowing 40,000 gallons of water to seep into the basement of his home Wednesday.

Deputies said a sump pump was unable to handle the inundation, which caused $1,000 in damage.

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Judge admits he erred in sentence for scammer

LOCKPORT Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III admitted Thursday that he goofed when he approved a plea-bargain for a scam artist that limited the jail time he could impose.

"I know I committed to local time, and I'm sorry I did. I would send you to state prison," Murphy told Larry J.F. Kensinger, 38, of Cleveland Avenue, Niagara Falls. But Murphy kept his promise and sentenced Kensinger to one year in Niagara County Jail for second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a crime that carries a maximum seven-year prison term.

Kensinger's guilty plea involved depositing forged checks into a Key Bank account; Murphy ordered $1,298.41 in restitution to the bank.

The account was set up for a memorial fund in the name of Kensinger's stepson. Kensinger's other recent activities included appropriating the identity of a former Laborers Local 91 official while he was in federal prison on racketeering charges for purposes of fraud; his one-year sentence for that expires next month.

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Sex offender sentenced to stint in work program

LOCKPORT -- A Level 2 sex offender who didn't keep police informed of where he was living was sentenced Thursday to 50 weekends in the county work program by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Nicholas J. Forney, 21, of Ransomville, had been living in Niagara Falls when he moved to Theresa Lane in the Town of Niagara earlier this year without telling police. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted failure to register.

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Falls house burglar gets 4 years in prison

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man who participated in a burglary was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Darren D. Shine, 21, of Fifth Street, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree burglary in the Nov. 19 break-in on 13th Street in Niagara Falls. Computer games were stolen from that home.

Charges remain pending against co-defendant Charles W. Payne Jr. 20, of Center Avenue, who also faces an unrelated child sexual abuse indictment.

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Habitual criminal gets two years in jail

LOCKPORT -- State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. on Thursday appealed to a steady criminal to get his life together, as the judge sentenced him to two years in jail for a pair of misdemeanors.

Kloch told Gregory Vincent, 30, that he had calculated that since Vincent was 16, judges had assigned him a total of 160.5 months of jail time, not counting Thursday's sentences for third-degree assault and petit larceny.

"You're doing a life sentence by installments," Kloch remarked of Vincent's seven previous incarcerations. The new sentence will be served after Vincent completes a 15-month term for violating parole.

Vincent, of Cleveland Avenue, Niagara Falls, joined a woman in attacking another woman with a knife and a bottle in Niagara Falls on Nov. 9, 2006. He also stole two computers, speakers, a fax machine and cash from a roommate Oct. 24, 2006.

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Guilty plea entered in motorcycle theft

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man pleaded guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court to stealing a motorcycle from a garage on Aug. 4.

Jason T. Johnson, 42, of 19th Street, admitted to third-degree burglary. Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza said Johnson will have to pay $2,350 restitution to the owner of the garage on Ferry Avenue in Niagara Falls; further sentencing was set for Dec. 2.

In another case before Sperrazza Thursday, Theodore M. Robinson, 21, of Ashland Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded not guilty to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

He was arrested April 7 in Lockport with 1.12 grams of crack cocaine allegedly in his possession.

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