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Guilt admitted in home invasion

A Buffalo man pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking part in a Jan. 6 home invasion in Wheatfield and agreed to testify against his co-defendants.

Eusebio Morales, 18, of Mayer Street, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree robbery and is set to be sentenced March 4 by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza. Morales could get up to seven years in prison.

Joseph Cruz, 22, of Oregon Street, Buffalo, rejected a similar plea offer last month. Also accused is Luis M. Davilla, 17, of Niagara Street, Buffalo.

The three were accused of entering a home on Moyer Road, duct-taping a 28-year-old woman and making off with $6,000 in cash and some drugs. Morales agreed Wednesday to pay $2,000 restitution as his share of the loot.

After the plea, Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm questioned Morales in open court. Morales said Cruz was driving a vehicle with Davilla as a passenger, and they picked him up at his home.

They drove to Niagara Falls, where they met two other men whom Morales said he didn't know but his associates apparently did. Morales said the men told them that the woman had drugs and cash and let them know where to find her.

Morales said Cruz gave him a paintball gun to use as a weapon, but Cruz stayed in the vehicle while Morales and Davilla entered the apartment. Morales said he held the paintball gun on the woman while Davilla, whom Morales knew as "Michael," searched the home.

Morales said the woman and her fiance chased their auto down Niagara Falls Boulevard into Amherst, where he and Davilla abandoned the vehicle and left Cruz alone.

Amherst police arrested Morales and Davilla near Ellicott Creek Park, while Cruz was captured on Dexter Terrace.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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