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POLICE & COURTS

Prosecution rests case in Carter murder trial

LOCKPORT -- The spotlight switches to the defense Monday in the Darnell D. Carter murder trial, after the prosecution wrapped up its case Friday.

Carter, 23, of 12th Street, Niagara Falls, is charged with the shooting death of Robert R. Biggs, 39, during a robbery attempt on Pierce Avenue in Niagara Falls on March 20, 2009.

Prosecutors showed the Niagara County Court jury videotape of Carter allegedly conferring with two other men before the confrontation and photos of a trail of blood left by Biggs as he ran from the assailants before collapsing in a backyard on Whitney Avenue.

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Second-time offender assured of prison time

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man is headed to prison after pleading guilty Friday to selling cocaine to a police informant in the Town of Niagara on Sept. 3.

Cozell Ferrell Jr., 31, of Pierce Avenue, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and was scheduled for sentencing June 18 by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza. It is the same charge to which Ferrell pleaded guilty in another case three years ago.

As a second felony offender, Ferrell faces a sentence ranging from 18 months to eight years behind bars.

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Two of three get jail in drug case sentencings

LOCKPORT -- Two men were sent to Niagara County Jail in drug cases Friday in County Court, while a third defendant drew probation.

Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza ordered a year behind bars for Billy M. Benton Jr., 20, of Lockport Street, Niagara Falls, who had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He threw away a packet of cocaine as Falls police chased him on foot following a March 11, 2009, traffic stop.

Joseph Marzulli, 36, of Payne Avenue, North Tonawanda, drew 15 days in jail from Matthew J. Murphy III for violating his probation on a guilty plea to seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Marzulli was flagged for only putting in seven of the 20 days in the county work program to which Murphy assigned him. Marzulli said that happened because he doesn't have a driver's license and broke up with the woman who was giving him a ride.

Pamela C. Jarmuz, 47, of Fairfield Drive, North Tonawanda, will be on probation for five years for attempted fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, Sperrazza decided. Jarmuz sold hydrocodone in North Tonawanda May 13.

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Texan's murder trial rescheduled to May 3

LOCKPORT -- The murder trial of a Texan who has signed a confession to shooting a man to death in Niagara Falls last year was rescheduled Thursday.

Phillip A. Holloway, 21, of Texas City, will go to trial in Niagara County Court on May 3. His trial had been set for April 26, but that trial date has been given to his co-defendant, Darrius S. Molson, 26, of West Seneca, who is charged with murder as an accomplice.

Molson's trial was to have begun March 8, but it was postponed because of unavailability of witnesses.

The two men are accused in the death of Deion J. Wood, 27, who was shot to death June 13 while sitting on a front porch on Ferry Avenue in Niagara Falls.

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