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Accomplice gets prison in Falls killing

A West Seneca man was sentenced to 22 years to life in prison Tuesday as an accomplice to the murder of a man in Niagara Falls last year.

Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III imposed the sentence on Darrius S. Molson, 26.

Murphy said he regarded Molson as an accomplice to Phillip A. Holloway, 22, of Texas City, Texas, who confessed to shooting Deion J. Wood, 27, early on June 13, 2009, as he sat on the front porch of a woman's home on Ferry Avenue.

The woman, Bernadette Bishop, testified she saw only one gunman, whom she identified as Molson. She ran into the house, she said, and didn't see the gunfire.

The two men had separate jury trials with the same result: guilty of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Police said Holloway told them the motive for the slaying was revenge because Wood allegedly beat him and robbed him of $1,200 a month earlier.

Molson was arrested shortly after the killing, but Holloway went back to Texas, where he was arrested a month later.

Public defender David J. Farrugia pointed out that Molson several times "was given an opportunity to plead guilty to a very favorable plea, which he did not do because he maintained his innocence."

Dana DiLaura of Buffalo, Wood's ex-girlfriend, said Molson "was best friends with someone who had hatred for Deion, and he was glad to collaborate."

None of Wood's immediate family attended the sentencing.

Molson offered "my most sincere sympathies" to Wood's family members but said they won't find any peace from his sentence. He asserted that his attorneys proved he bore no responsibility for Wood's death.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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