North Tonawanda man gets shock incarceration
LOCKPORT -- Unimpressed with a 19-year-old North Tonawanda burglar who had been kicked out of at least two drug treatment programs, Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza shipped him to the state's boot camp-style "shock incarceration" program for six months Friday.
If that doesn't work, the burglar will serve one to three years in regular prison. However, Sperrazza also granted the Miller Street man youthful offender status, which she termed a gift.
The defendant was 18 when he broke into another home on that street Aug. 3. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary.
Judge spares lecture in sentencing for DWI
LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III didn't bother lecturing an East Amherst man about the dangers of his drunken driving Friday -- he just sent the man to jail for a year.
Murphy told Curtis Stumm, 58, of Tonawanda Creek Road, that he was sure other judges had lectured him in the past, without apparent effect, about driving while intoxicated.
Stumm had pleaded guilty to felony DWI in the wake of a Dec. 23 arrest on East Canal Road in Pendleton. His blood alcohol content was measured at 0.18 percent.
Guilty plea entered in gun possession case
LOCKPORT -- The driver whose car was shot up by a homeowner anticipating a burglary attempt in Royalton on Jan. 21 pleaded guilty to a gun possession charge Friday in Niagara County Court, and is to be sentenced Aug. 13 by Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.
Anibal R. Cordero, 24, a former Lockport resident now living in Buffalo, admitted to attempted third-degree criminal possession of a weapon for ending up with a .357 Magnum handgun stolen Jan. 19 in a burglary at the Akron Road home of Dennis F. Cherry.
Two days later, when Cordero returned with Jenna M. Zsebhazy, 18, of Washburn Street, Lockport, Cherry was waiting with a rifle. No one was hurt despite the 15 rounds he fired as the car backed out of his garage. Zsebhazy, Cherry's stepdaughter, jumped bail and has yet to be apprehended; she is under indictment on burglary charges in the Jan. 19 and 21 incidents.
Cherry, 63, was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, but the charges were later reduced to misdemeanors and adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.
Accused robber pleads not guilty
LOCKPORT -- Ernest L. Ruffin, one of two men who allegedly robbed a store adjoining a Niagara Falls hotel Dec. 30, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday in Niagara County Court.
Ruffin, 32, of 24th Street, Niagara Falls, denied charges of third-degree robbery and petit larceny. The crime was caught on videotape, but Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Scalzo said the other robber, who was wearing a mask, has not been identified.
The two allegedly demanded money from a store clerk at the Rodeway Inn, 492 Main St. The masked man roughed up the clerk and made off with a money box, Scalzo said.
Man, 36, charged with aggravated DWI
LOCKPORT -- A Lockport man was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated following a traffic stop by Niagara County sheriff's deputies at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday on Raymond Road.
Scott T. Wisniewski, 36, of Lincoln Avenue Extension, was stopped after his Hummer crossed the center line. Deputies said Wisniewski's blood-alcohol level was 0.19 percent.
Simultaneous sentences ordered in two DWI pleas
LOCKPORT -- A Newfane man who was sentenced to prison last week for felony driving while intoxicated pleaded guilty to another count of that charge Tuesday and was granted a simultaneous sentence by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.
Jeffrey F. Sidebottom, 47, of Chestnut Road, will not serve any additional time for his latest plea; his sentence remains at 1 1/3 to four years.
Sidebottom admitted to felony DWI for running his car into a ditch on Beebe Road in Wilson on April 17, when deputies measured his blood-alcohol content at 0.17 percent. He was sentenced last week for a May 16, 2009, DWI arrest in the City of Lockport.
In another DWI case before Murphy on Tuesday, Michael P. Guereschi, 35, of Walmore Road, Wheatfield, pleaded guilty to a felony and was set for sentencing Aug. 17. He was arrested Oct. 29 on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Wheatfield, and his blood alcohol was measured at 0.14 percent.
Lockport man pleads guilty in gun theft
LOCKPORT -- Jeremy A. Lake, 32, of Park Avenue, Lockport, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Niagara County Court to stealing a hunting shotgun from a woman's apartment in Urban Park Towers on Main Street in the city Feb. 26.
Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza scheduled sentencing Aug. 11 for Lake, who admitted to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary.