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>Break-in reported at home of Falls shooting victim

NIAGARA FALLS -- As if Stephanie C. Turk and her family didn't have enough to worry about after a shooting last weekend that caused her critical injuries, someone broke into her home while she has been hospitalized, city police said Tuesday.

Turk, 27, was stabbed in the stomach and shot by Adam J. Hamilton, 34, the father of her two sons, early Saturday, police said.

Hamilton also has been charged with shooting two officers who responded to help Turk.

Turk and one of the officers, Walter R. Nichols, remain in intensive care in Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo. Both were in serious condition Tuesday; Turk had been upgraded from critical condition.

Hamilton, who police said was injured when officers returned fire, remained in ECMC in fair condition, under armed guard. He was arraigned in the hospital Monday on two counts of attempted murder of a police officer and another count of attempted murder. Bail was set at $200,000 cash or $400,000 bond.

Officer Michael D. Bird, who had a shotgun pellet lodged in his face, was treated in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and released. He will need further care because a pellet lodged near a nerve beside his ear, Police Superintendent John R. Chella said.

Police also reported Tuesday that a maintenance man found Turk's basement window had been kicked in while she was in the hospital and her apartment was burglarized. The maintenance man told police he was unsure if anything had been stolen.


>Addicted war veteran sentenced in break-ins

LOCKPORT -- An Air Force veteran of Operation Desert Storm who said he turned to crime to support a crack cocaine addiction was sentenced to two to four years in prison Tuesday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.
Tommy M. Pace, 45, of Cleveland Avenue, Niagara Falls, had pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted third-degree burglary for entering vacant houses on 10th Street and South Avenue in Niagara Falls between June and December 2007 and another house on South Avenue on April 22. The guilty plea also triggered a probation violation for a 2007 burglary conviction.
"As a war veteran, I know the price that is paid every day for our freedoms and liberties, and I gave mine up to be a drug addict," Pace told the judge.


>$7,000 electric wheelchair stolen from disabled man

NIAGARA FALLS -- A city man's $7,000 electric wheelchair was stolen after an act of kindness turned into a bait-and-switch tactic Monday evening.

The 52-year-old 77th Street man told police the chair had been having motor problems, and he was stuck without a cell phone in the 7600 block of Ferry Avenue at 6:30 p.m.

The victim said a man in his mid-30s with wavy, brown hair stopped in a van and offered to help. The victim said that while he got into the passenger seat, another van with two men arrived, and the men put his wheelchair into neutral and backed it into the second van. He was then driven home.

The victim said the man who drove him assisted him into an older model wheelchair he had in his garage and then he went inside to use his bathroom. He said when he returned, both vans, his newer wheelchair and all the suspects were gone.


>JCC student cleared in home invasion case

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III found a Jamestown Community College student not guilty Tuesday of charges that he participated in a home invasion in Niagara Falls last year.
Clarence N. Brown, 19, of Washington Avenue, Dunkirk, a former Niagara Falls resident, was acquitted of first-degree burglary, first- and second-degree robbery and fourth-degree criminal mischief at the close of the one-day nonjury trial.
The Feb. 24 incident occurred at a Welch Avenue apartment occupied by Henry Felicetti and Michelle McArthur. Donald C. McKee Jr., 24, of Falls Street, Niagara Falls, who pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing for attempted second-degree robbery, testified Tuesday that he robbed Felicetti of some marijuana after punching him in the eye. McKee said Brown wasn't there, and Brown also denied being present when he took the stand.
McArthur said she jumped off a second-floor balcony to run to call police after seeing McKee, who was armed with a meat cleaver, put it to her boyfriend's neck. However, she didn't see Brown. Felicetti said Brown came in after McArthur left, kicking down the door to help in the robbery, but Murphy wasn't convinced.


>Falls woman found dead in her apartment

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 45-year-old woman was found dead in her Ferry Avenue apartment just before midnight Monday, and fire inspectors condemned the building after finding a large amount of cat feces and garbage on the floor, city police said.

Dale Ann Theuret, of 319 Ferry Ave., was found on the kitchen floor wrapped in a blanket and surrounded by garbage, police said. Her cause of death remained under investigation Tuesday, but there did not appear to be any signs of foul play, investigators said.

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