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POLICE & COURTS

Route 20 crash victim dies of injuries in ECMC

PORTLAND -- An elderly Westfield woman died of injuries suffered in a crash Thursday on Route 20 in the Town of Portland.

Anita M. Jaquith, 86, of Academy Street, was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital and then to Erie County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, Chautauqua County sheriff's officials said Friday.

The crash occurred at about 1:40 p.m., when the vehicle she was driving went off the road and struck a tree.

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Final pieces in place for Hassan murder trial

The highly anticipated murder trial of Muzzammil S. "Mo" Hassan's begins Tuesday.

Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk swore in the last six members of the 12-member jury, which includes eight men and four women, at about 5:30 p.m. Friday after five days of jury selection in a basement courtroom at 25 Delaware Ave. Two men and two women were also chosen as alternates.

Defense attorney Jeremy D. Schwartz said he anticipates the trial could last a few weeks.

Before excusing the last of the jurors for the weekend, the judge urged them all to "make an extra special effort to shield yourself" from all news media coverage of the murder trial and to report back Tuesday morning.

Hassan, 46, has been jailed since Feb. 12, 2009, when he turned himself in to police. The body of his wife, Aasiya, 37, was found stabbed and beheaded in their Orchard Park television studio. She had filed for divorce a week earlier.

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Sex assault on girl, 3, blamed on Fort Erie man

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- A Fort Erie man accused of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl was arrested Friday by Niagara Regional Police Service Child Abuse Unit.

George A.A. Brooks, 37, of Dufferin Street, is charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, exposure to a child under 16 years and breach of probation. Brooks is being held pending a bail hearing at 10 a.m. today in St. Catharines.

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Jamestown man charged in fatal hit-and-run

A Jamestown man was charged Friday in a fatal hit-and-run incident Oct. 10 in the Town of Randolph that killed a Mexican teenager.

Benjamin Goon, 22, was arraigned in Randolph Town Court on a felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and other violations in the death of Federico Flores, 17, of Oaxaca, Mexico. Flores was hit about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 10 at Route 394 and School House Road as he walked home from work at a dairy farm, according to the Jamestown Post-Journal.

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Unwelcome intruder meets up with homeowner

SALAMANCA -- A Jefferson Street man attempting to steal money in a West Avenue home is charged with burglary and marijuana possession.

Terry L. Nichols Jr., 35, was met by the resident as he arrived home shortly before noon Friday. Nichols was later arrested by city police and identified by the resident, who said $29 in change was stolen, police said. A small bag of marijuana and a pipe were found on Nichols while he was being processed, police added.

Nichols is in Cattaraugus County Jail in lieu of $2,000 bail following arraignment in City Court on charges of second-degree burglary, petit larceny and marijuana possession.

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Elma man, 42, indicted in high-profile DWI cases

An Elma man faces a possible prison term of up to eight years on his indictment Friday for felony drunken driving at speeds of almost 90 mph several months ago in both Orchard Park and Elma.

Free on bail pending his Jan. 21 arraignment, David W. Krieger, 42, of Bullis Road, Elma, was indicted by a grand jury on multiple counts of felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, said prosecutor James W. Mansour II.

Mansour said Krieger had his driver's license suspended after a misdemeanor drunken driving conviction last May in Williamsville.

He was arrested about 4:45 p.m. last Sept. 20 on Chestnut Ridge Road in Orchard Park for driving almost 90 mph with a container of malt liquor in his car and posting a blood-alcohol reading of 0.16 percent, twice the state's legal limit, Mansour said.

He was arrested again about 9:15 a.m. Sept. 23 on Girdle Road in Elma for allegedly driving over 70 mph with a blood-alcohol reading of O.22 percent, the prosecutor said.

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Fort Erie man busted on pot-smuggling charges

A Fort Erie, Ont., man is accused of trying to smuggle 15 pounds of marijuana over the Peace Bridge into the United States, U.S. Customs & Border Protection officials said.

Michael Mazza, 40, was arrested by bridge officers on Thursday after 15 vacuum-sealed bags of alleged pot were found hidden inside a spare tire, the agency said.

Authorities estimated the street-sale value of the pot at $60,000 and said the Erie County District Attorney's Office will handle the case.

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