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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Man, 18, sent to prison in violent home invasion

LOCKPORT -- A Lockport man who was convicted of 19 felonies was sentenced to 13 years in prison Tuesday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Rakeem J. Golson, 18, of Evans Street, was found guilty on 18 counts by a jury in a trial that ended May 20, regarding a violent home invasion in a Locust Street apartment April 3, 2007.

Subsequently, Golson admitted to attempted second-degree robbery in connection with a mugging of a teenage boy and girl Aug. 29, 2007, on North Transit Street.

Sperrazza gave Golson concurrent sentences on the 18 counts from the home invasion, in which a man and a woman were pistol-whipped. The bottom line was that Golson must serve eight years for that, and then Sperrazza tacked on five years for the mugging, in which Golson punched a boy in the jaw after taking his necklace and cell phone.

A co-defendant, Amy L. Bower, 30, of North Adam Street, pleaded guilty to two felonies but was sentenced to one year in jail when she could have received seven years.

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>Kitchen fire routs Falls family from home

NIAGARA FALLS -- A family of four was displaced from their home Tuesday after a kitchen fire on Grand Avenue.

Niagara Falls firefighters responded to the fire at 2747 Grand Ave. just after 10:30 a.m. and found everyone was safely out of the single-family home.

Smoke and fire damage was estimated at $20,000, and most heavily damaged were the kitchen and hallway, according to fire officials.

Richard Anderson and his family are receiving help from the Red Cross, firefighters said.

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>Youth charged in rape of clerk during robbery

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls teenager faces a possible life prison sentence if convicted on an indictment unsealed Tuesday, charging him with raping a store clerk during a robbery.

Anthony C. Markel, 17, of South 86th Street, is charged with three counts of predatory sexual assault, the charges with the maximum life term. He also was charged with one count of first-degree rape and two counts each of first-degree criminal sexual act and first-degree robbery.

Markel pleaded not guilty and continues to be held on $250,000 bail.

Markel allegedly robbed a female clerk at Watson's Chocolates of Distinction, 8337 Niagara Falls Blvd., on Aug. 9. He was accused of grabbing the knife the woman was using to cut fudge and forcing her into a back room. Police said $1,000 was stolen from the cash register and $75 from the clerk.

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>Relative accused in theft from building company

LOCKPORT -- An Akron Road man who owns a custom home building company told Niagara County sheriff's deputies that a family member broke into his company's business and stole credit cards, personal papers and a bucket of change from the office.

Deputies interviewed the family member Tuesday, and he and his friend admitted stealing nine credit cards from the office on at least two occasions and using the cards to buy pornography and admitted burning at least one card, according to reports.

The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigation Bureau, and the business owner was advised to keep his business doors locked at all times, deputies said.

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>Firing of rifle shots brings prison term

LOCKPORT -- A Pendleton man who fired two rifle shots at his fleeing father and grandparents May 26 was sentenced to 1 1/3 to four years in prison Tuesday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Michael A. Hurd, 28, of Mapleton Road, had pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree reckless endangerment. Sheriff's deputies arrested him after a four-hour Memorial Day standoff in the wake of the shooting.

"A two-day drug and alcohol binge was the fuel for this crime," Assistant District Attorney Stephen J. Foley said in arguing for the maximum sentence, which Murphy imposed. Foley said Hurd had been a drug user for 15 years, piled up 17 arrests, nine convictions and three probation violations and washed out of three drug treatment programs.

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>Three indicted in house burglary

LOCKPORT -- Three men have been indicted on matching counts of third-degree burglary at a vacant house in Niagara Falls, it was disclosed Tuesday in Niagara County Court.

Jimmie L. Anthony, 51, of Ferry Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Arraignments are scheduled later in the week for John W. Gates, 42, of 10th Street, Niagara Falls, and Shawn K. Haseley, 38, of Rainbow Park, Ransomville.

Assistant District Attorney Robert F. LaDuca Jr. said the men were caught by police Sept. 11 in a house on Walnut Avenue that the city had foreclosed upon because of unpaid taxes. The men allegedly were trying to remove copper pipes, LaDuca said.

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