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Judge lets murder suspect out on bail

A judge let Somerset murder defendant Jamie W. Wilson out of jail Thursday, while his attorney said he doesn't think Wilson should face any criminal charges at all.

"That's up to the grand jury," Assistant District Attorney Timothy R. Lundquist said.

He said evidence in the case will be presented to the grand jury Monday, and defense attorney Anthony J. Lana said Wilson will testify there.

"I hope he gets no-billed," Lana said, using a legal term that refers to a grand jury voting not to indict someone. Such a finding would close the case.

"This is a great self-defense case," Lana said. "In my opinion, it's a clear-cut case of justification."

Wilson, 39, was arrested Friday at his home on Hall Road in Somerset and charged with killing Theodore Tice, 54, a Lockport native whose last address was in Unicoi, Tenn., with a single shotgun blast to the torso.

The shot was fired through Wilson's locked bedroom door as Tice pounded on it, sheriff's deputies said.

Lana said he has police reports from the Sheriff's Office, the State Police and a Florida police agency, all saying that Tice had threatened Wilson at various times.

"The victim was threatening my guy from Florida that [Tice] was going to come up and kill him," Lana said. He said Tice arrived at Wilson's house Friday afternoon and assaulted Wilson in the driveway.

"[Wilson] ran inside and locked the bedroom door, with this guy running after him screaming, 'I'm gonna kill you! I'm gonna kill you!' " Lana said.

He cited a state law "that says you can use deadly physical force during a burglary in your home."

Wilson had been held without bail, because state law prohibits local judges from setting bail in a murder case.

Lana asked County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to set $25,000 property bail so Wilson's home could be put up as security to get him out of jail. Murphy consented, and Wilson was freed later in the day.

Lundquist said he was at the scene and interviewed witnesses. He said, "Based on what I know about the case . . . the people do not object."

The house at 9677 Hall Road is assessed at $26,200. The county real property tax office said it is held in the name of Wilson's stepparents, Philip and Mary Lou Clay. Lana said that if Wilson makes a mistake while on bail, the county could seize the house.

Murphy told Wilson that while he's free, he must avoid crime and is not allowed to leave Niagara County, except to go to Erie County on work assignments. Wilson and his wife, Kimberly, operate a business called Handy Maid Service.

Murphy also ordered Wilson to call a probation officer twice a week, avoid drinking and drug use, and turn over all weapons in his house to the Sheriff's Office.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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