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POLICE & COURTS

Depew man facing charges in fatal Feb. 24 crash

A Depew man has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired by drugs in a two-vehicle crash that killed his fiancee on Feb. 24, Cheektowaga police said Friday.

Phillip Kane, 29, was arrested after police said laboratory tests confirmed there were drugs in his body, including cocaine, at the time of the Genesee Street crash near Tadio Parkway. His passenger, Elisa N. Mannella, 29, of Depew, a student at Canisius College, was killed.

Police said Kane was traveling west on Genesee when he lost control of his car and collided with a pickup.

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Hawley Street woman convicted in slashing

A Hawley Street woman was convicted Friday of the razor blade slashing of the face of a woman who had been dating the former boyfriend of her sister.

Damitria Jones, 18, was found guilty of second-degree assault in the attack on Alicia Mayfield, 20, near the Seneca Station of Metro Rail about 2 p.m. last July 29. The verdict followed a two-day nonjury trial before Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk.

Jones did not testify during the trial, in which prosecutor Paul E. Bonanno described the crime as a "planned attack" on someone who took a boyfriend from her sister. Jones, who will be sentenced Sept. 8, faces up to seven years in prison. She remains free on $5,000 bail.

On Thursday, Mayfield, 20, identified Jones as her attacker. She suffered a permanent scar that runs from the right side of her forehead to her right cheek. She said Jones slashed her from behind and while leaving the scene on a Metro Rial, Jones said, "That will teach you to mess with somebody else's man."

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West Seneca couple arrested in cocaine case

A West Seneca man and his wife were arrested Friday on federal cocaine charges.

Vincent Stuchal, 46, and Caroline Stuchal, 38, were subjects of an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and West Seneca police, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said.

Both are charged with felony counts of possession of cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. An additional charge of distributing cocaine was filed against Vincent Stuchal.

Vincent Stuchal allegedly distributed cocaine on eight occasions between September 2009 and October 2010, prosecutor Anthony M. Bruce said.

In connection with the drug probe, prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of nine parcels of real estate in Buffalo, Blasdell and West Seneca worth an estimated $630,000, authorities said.

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False accusations land ex-friend in hot water

An Erie County grand jury Friday indicted a Depew man for allegedly falsely accusing a former friend of identity theft and stealing $65,000 of his funds late last year.

Jason Kazukiewicz, 36, of Enez Drive, was allowed to remain free without bail after he pleaded not guilty Friday before Senior Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico to offering a false instrument for filing, making a false written statement and falsely reporting an incident.

District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III and prosecutor Brian P. Dassero said Kazukiewicz filed a false theft complaint against the ex-friend with Depew police last October. The ex-friend was arrested and arraigned in Depew Village Court on Dec. 7, but a subsequent review of financial records determined he had been falsely accused. Prosecutors said Kazukiewicz faces a possible prison term of up to four years.

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Police traffic stops yield four drug arrests

Four people face drug charges following traffic stops by state police Thursday.

Ronald E. Miller, 32, of 19th Street, was charged with two felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said Miller -- on parole for felony weapons charges -- was arrested following a stop on Woods Avenue, where he was found with 18 grams of powdered cocaine and 2.2 grams of crack cocaine.

Darren D. Harris Jr., 23, and Emario L. Allen, 20, both of Buffalo, were charged after a traffic stop on Bailey Avenue. Harris was charged with criminal possession of marijuana -- 30 grams worth, police said. Allen was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana -- 19 grams, police said.

Adel M. Nasar, 23, of Detroit was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance -- 14 grams of khat, police said. Nasar was stopped on Broadway.

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Appeals court orders new trial in '06 slaying

A man convicted of killing the half-brother of a Buffalo police officer won a new trial as a state appellate court faulted State Supreme Court Justice Shirley Troutman's handling of the trial.

Damien Warren, 28, maintains his innocence in the fatal shooting of Keone Littlejohn in March 23, 2006. The decision of the five-judge Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester was unanimous.

Warren's attorney, Michael L. D'Amico said he will be seeking bail for Warren, currently an inmate at Great Meadow Correctional Facility.

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