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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Lockport man charged in attack on ex-girlfriend

LOCKPORT -- A woman who told a man she was leaving him was grabbed by the hair and dragged down High Street just after 1 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

Jeffrey J. Farrell, 22, of High Street, was charged with third-degree menacing. Police said Farrell threatened to punch the woman, then grabbed her by the hair and dragged her down the sidewalk.

The woman, who refused medical treatment, is requesting an order of protection, police said.

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Lone holdout on jury stalls murder trial verdict

LOCKPORT -- One holdout juror is preventing a verdict in the Edward E. Nickens murder trial.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza sent the jury home at 4:30 p.m. Thursday after a full day of deliberation. Nickens, 32, of Michigan Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with the May 16 shooting death of Joshua Hayes, 23, of Whitney Avenue.

The slaying occurred in front of Nickens' home, but for several months police were uncertain whether to charge Edward Nickens or his identical twin brother Raymond C. Nickens. Police concluded Raymond Nickens wasn't present.

The jury resumed deliberations at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, after having considered the case for slightly more than three hours Wednesday.

At about 2:15 p.m., the jury sent Sperrazza another note. "We are 11-1," it read. The jury didn't indicate whether they were within one vote of conviction or acquittal.

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Falls teen gets jail in gun possession case

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls teenager was granted youthful offender status but also was sent to Niagara County Jail for a year Thursday in a gun possession case.

The 13th Street 17-year-old had pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He drove the sport utility vehicle from which an assault rifle was fired on 19th Street in Niagara Falls on June 7.

Earlier this week, a passenger in the SUV, Korey T. Barney, 20, of Camelot Court, Buffalo, drew six months in jail. Awaiting sentencing are Robert Howard, 19, of Fourth Street, Niagara Falls, and Brandon H. Carter, 22, of 10th Street, who is believed to have fired the gun. Only his DNA was found on it, prosecutors said.

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Buffalo man, 18, jailed for year in home invasion

LOCKPORT -- Eusebio Morales, 18, of Mayer Street, Buffalo, was sentenced Thursday to a year in jail and $2,000 restitution for his role in a Wheatfield home invasion.

A probation officer recommended probation for Morales, but Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza said, "I'm not giving him probation. This is a home invasion. That is repugnant to me."

Morales, who pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree robbery, was the driver of the getaway car and pointed a gun, later identified as a paintball gun, at the Moyer Road woman who was duct-taped and robbed of $6,000 in her home Jan. 6, 2010.

Two other Buffalo men, Joseph Cruz, 23, of Oregon Street, and Luis M. Davilla, 17, of Niagara Street, each admitted to the same charge as Morales.

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Depew man pleads guilty in holdup of drugstore

LOCKPORT -- A Depew man will go to prison after pleading guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court to taking part in the Oct. 18 armed robbery of a Lockport drugstore.

Thomas E. Grabski, 23, of Miller Street, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree robbery. Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza committed to send Grabski to prison for no more than 10 years; the minimum sentence is 3 1/2 years. Sperrazza will set the length of the prison term June 23.

Grabski and co-defendant Brandon H. Walker, 20, of Cedar Brook Drive, Lancaster, were charged with stealing a quantity of the painkiller oxycodone -- but no money -- from the Rite Aid store at South Transit and Summit streets.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said store workers said they thought Grabski had a knife, but Grabski told police it was actually a ratchet.

Walker is awaiting sentencing in Erie County on an attempted third-degree robbery plea for a similar holdup in Alden July 20.

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'Shock incarceration' urged for admitted thief

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man was recommended for the state's boot camplike "shock incarceration" program Wednesday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

If Gregory M. Guthrie succeeds in the program, he will be paroled in six months, but if he doesn't, he will serve one to three years in a regular prison.

Guthrie, 24, of 95th Street, admitted to attempted third-degree burglary for entering Wheatfield Business Park, the former Bell Aerospace plant, to steal copper and brass pipes in February 2010.

The pipes were sold for scrap. Guthrie will have to pay $3,150 in restitution.

Charges are still pending against co-defendant Ernest T. Nagurney, 23, of 85th Street.

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