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Falls man gets 1 1/3 to 4 years in attack on ex-girlfriend

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man was sentenced Monday to 1 1/3 to four years in state prison for beating his ex-girlfriend with a hammer and a knife Feb. 16.

Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III imposed the sentence on Eric B. Willis, 34, of Eighth Street, who had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree assault.

Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm said the photos of the woman taken after the attack showed the results of what she called "a horrific crime." The victim's face was severely cut and there were bruises all over her torso and legs.


Falls man denies charges in felony drug sale case

LOCKPORT -- Romel L. Brundidge, 23, of Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded not guilty to a four-felony drug indictment Monday in Niagara County Court.

Brundidge is charged with two counts each of third-degree sale and possession of a controlled substance. He allegedly sold cocaine to a paid police informant in Niagara Falls twice in January 2008.

In another drug case Monday, Javonie E. McKinney, 36, of Brockport, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and was scheduled for sentencing Dec. 7 by Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

McKinney was pulled over April 23 in the Town of Lockport for driving with an obstructed view, and 0.17 ounces of cocaine was found in his pocket.


Deputies investigate theft from Wheatfield apartment

WHEATFIELD -- A man told Niagara County sheriff's deputies on Sunday afternoon that he learned from his landlady his apartment had been broken into as he was making his way home from Toronto.

The 64-year-old Nicki's Lane man said his landlady called him to ask if anyone should be in his apartment and she told him that she had heard someone inside.

She described the suspect as a white male, 6 feet tall, with a thin build and short dark hair, wearing a sky blue T-shirt, baggy beige shorts and white sneakers.

The tenant told deputies a Brazilian briefcase was damaged and $715 in cash was taken, including American dollars, Euros, and British and Egyptian currency. Also stolen were gold rings worth $800 and a $700 watch. Total loss and damage to property was estimated at $3,865.


Marketer is convicted in assault at restaurant

Michael A. Pratchett, a Buffalo arts and entertainment marketer, was convicted Monday of assaulting a man who came to the aid of his date at a downtown restaurant and bar last year.

After about three hours of deliberations, a jury convicted Pratchett, 30, of Summer Street, of second-degree assault for the attack on Ryan Camman and found him not guilty of first-degree assault. Pratchett faces a possible seven-year prison term but could get probation.

Camman, now 29, testified that Pratchett smashed a heavy pint glass on the right side of his face. He said he was struck when he ran to the aid of his date after she accidentally stepped on Pratchett's foot and he cursed at her and threatened to "kill" her in the Stillwater, on Delaware Avenue, at about 1 a.m. June 7, 2008.

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