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Price takes guilty plea in death of girlfriend

Jonathan Price pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend in their Courtland Avenue flat last April 12.

Price, 26, admitted to State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns that he deliberately shot Bianca Letherwood, 27, in her right eye during an argument.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday. Price, who had faced second-degree murder, weapons and menacing charges, will be sentenced March 4. Prosecutor Thomas M. Finnerty said he will urge Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III to recommend the maximum 25 years in prison.


Man, 21, admits trying to scam undercover agent

A 21-year-old Clarence man admitted Friday that he tried to use a popular breakfast cereal to scam an undercover investigator for the federal government.

Albert J. Diaz-Ordaz Jr., of Cobblestone Drive in Spaulding Lake, pleaded guilty to a felony count of theft of government property.

The Clarence man admitted that he told an undercover agent from U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement that he could get him $5,000 worth of tablets of the illegal drug Ecstasy.

When the undercover agent met Diaz-Ordaz Jr. for the drug deal July 21, the Clarence man gave him a tightly wrapped shoe box that actually contained pieces of Honeycomb, a breakfast cereal, said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Quinn Auricchio.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara scheduled sentencing for May 11.


Victim of shooting recovering from surgery

A man shot several times in the lower body Wednesday evening in an apparent drive-by shooting on Ashley Street was recovering from surgery Friday, authorities said.

Todd Pointer, 21, was walking east on Ashley at about 8:20 p.m., when five shots were fired from a westbound, copper-colored car, according to Buffalo police.

Pointer, who lives on Ashley, was apparently struck four times and was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.


Red Cross assists five after fire destroys house

An East Side home was destroyed early Friday in a $150,000 fire that forced five occupants to seek emergency shelter.

The Red Cross was called to assist three adults and two children routed from their home at 360-362 Glenwood Ave., in the Jefferson-East Ferry area of the city, following the blaze that was reported at 2:24 a.m.

The cause remains under investigation.


Guilty plea entered in attempted larceny

Salvatore Musso, owner of Musso Plumbing and Heating in Clarence, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree attempted larceny and agreed to pay $2,860.45 following an investigation by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office, his office announced Friday.

In 2007, Musso was ordered to pay thousands of dollars in back pay to the workers at his Clarence business after a state Labor Department investigation showed the workers weren't paid for overtime hours and that Musso had made illegal deductions from their checks.

Once the workers received their back wages, Musso demanded they return the money to him or risk being fired. Some of them complied, Cuomo's office said.

As part of his plea before Judge Robert G. Sillars in Clarence Town Court, Musso agreed to pay the $2,860.45 in wages due to his employees.


Arrest made in holdup of Lancaster grocery

Lancaster police have arrested a 20-year-old Lancaster man accused of stealing a large amount of money at knifepoint from a grocery store Thursday night.

Police said the thief, brandishing a knife, took more than $1,000 in the holdup at the Save A Lot store in Lancaster. Most of the money was recovered.

Detectives William Loewer, Donald Lynch and Edward Wojtal charged Steven Myers with first-degree robbery, grand larceny, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, following the holdup at about 9:10 p.m. Thursday.

Police also charged Myers' brother, Anthony, 22, with possession of stolen property and marijuana possession. Detectives are looking for a third suspect in the robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to call Lancaster police, 683-3120.

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