Share this article

print logo

Slaying suspect waives hearing rights

A 22-year-old man accused of bludgeoning to death his neighbor who was then left outside in a cold tent for nearly 24 hours, waived his rights to a pretrial hearing Friday in town court.

Gregory E. Farr, 22, who lives at Lot 23 in the Valley View Estates trailer park, was returned to the Cattaraugus County Jail in Little Valley where he's being held without bail to await grand jury action on his case.

Farr, who has a previous criminal record, has been charged by state police with second-degree murder and two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Farr allegedly used a crowbar and knife to murder Stephen L. Balser, 58, who lived with a family in Lot 17 at the trailer park on South Nine Mile Road.

Balser, who also has a previous criminal record, was known to reside at many different area locations, including area motels.

Cattaraugus County Coroner Bradley Spink said he was notified about the homicide Tuesday by state police. He said they received a 911 call earlier that afternoon.

Farr was taken into custody and questioned at the Olean State Police Barracks from about 3 to 8 p.m. Later Tuesday evening Farr was arraigned in Allegany Town Court and sent to the county jail without bail.

The coroner was called to the scene to remove Balser's body from the tent at around 10 p.m. Tuesday. It was then transported to the Erie County Medical Center for an autopsy, which attributed his death to blunt force trauma, Spink said.

Public Defender Mark S. Williams, who is representing Farr, said he intends to have his client evaluated by a psychiatrist as soon as possible.