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Defendant admits to assault, will aid murder-attempt case

A Lockport man who had been charged with attempted murder pleaded guilty to second-degree assault Thursday and agreed to testify against two co-defendants, including his brother.

But Jose Molina-Roman, 29, said in Niagara County Court that his brother, Delman Molina-Roman, 23, of Sweet-wood Drive, didn't take part in the Aug. 12 attack on Luis D. Orona, 34. However, he said a third defendant, Axel E. Antongiorgi, 22, of Sweetwood Drive, hit Orona twice in the head with a brick.

Assistant District Attorney Brian E. Seaman asserted that Jose Molina-Roman stabbed Orona with a knife outside the victim's home on Glendale Drive, while another man wielded a brick and all three kicked and punched him.

Jose told a somewhat different story. Speaking through an interpreter, the native of Puerto Rico said he had fought with Orona earlier in the day, and Antongiorgi had a beef with him, too. "[Orona] let it be known that he was out looking for me," Molina-Roman said. "I understand I did wrong, but I took the advantage and went after him first."

Molina-Roman said that when he confronted Orona, the latter smashed a beer bottle on the ground but that Molina-Roman grabbed a piece of the broken glass and used that to stab Orona. He said Antongiorgi hit Orona with a brick.

Delman Molina-Roman saw the fight while taking out the garbage and ran to the scene to restrain his brother, said Jose, who is to be sentenced May 21.

In another case before Judge Matthew J. Murphy III, a March 12 hearing was set on admissibility of evidence against DeQuana M. White, 18, of North Avenue, Niagara Falls, who is accused of murder in the fatal shooting of a woman last year; his trial date is March 30.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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