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New trial is slated in molesting case

The Olean man whose child molesting conviction was set aside by an appeals court faces a retrial, Cattaraugus County District Attorney Lori Pettit Rieman said Friday.

Last week in a 4-1 decision, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester overturned Timothy Jerge's Sept. 10, 2010 conviction and quashed the seven-year prison term he was given March 14 and granted him a new trial.

Jerge, 33, of Prince Street is out on appeal bail and never started the prison term.

He was convicted of repeatedly molesting a young girl in Olean between 2004 and 2009.

Rieman said she does not plan to appeal the Rochester court's decision.


Parking van in intersection gets Cuba man DWI charge

A Cuba man faces drunken driving charges after parking his minivan in the middle of a Clarence intersection early Friday morning, state police reported.

Rockne A. Searle, 31, was driving a 2009 vehicle that troopers saw "unusually parked" in the middle of the intersection of Main Street and Salt Road at 1:40 a.m., police said.

Searle was given field sobriety tests and charged with driving while intoxicated. He was taken to the State Police substation in Clarence, where a breathalyzer test revealed he had a .20 percent blood alcohol content, more than twice the legal limit.

Searle was released to a third party and is scheduled to appear in Clarence Town Court Jan. 12.


Two teens plead guilty to 5 graffiti charges

Two teens on Friday admitted they are the Kaisertown "taggers," and pleaded guilty to five counts of making graffiti before State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski.

David Moore, 18, of Weaver Street and Eric Strozier, 17, of Scoville Avenue, agreed to reimburse their victims $15,265 for defacing a number of buildings, including St. Bernard Catholic Church on Clinton Street.

Even if they come up with that money, they still face up to two years in the Erie County Correctional Facility when they are sentenced March 20, court officials said.

District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III stressed that neither person was given a plea deal to lower charges in connection with their Aug. 5 arrests while they were scrawling spray painted messages in the Clinton and South Ogden streets area.

In addition to the church, the pair also vandalized the HSBC Bank branch at 1989 Clinton St., a CVS drugstore at 360 Dingens St. and another building at North Services and Weaver streets.


Police identify victim in fatal E. Side shooting

Buffalo police have identified the East Side man who was shot and killed Wednesday night on Briscoe Avenue.

Frederick Gelsey Jr., 30, was shot at 69 Briscoe Ave. at about 7:30 p.m.

Wayne P. Vance, 29, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, possession of a loaded firearm and resisting arrest after police responded to the home.

Vance was forcibly subdued by responding officers, who found a small black handgun they believe was used to kill Gelsey.


Clarence motel fire does $200,000 in damage

The Thursday night fire at the Rock Garden Motel in Clarence caused $200,000 in damage and left a 42-year-old Clarence man dead, Amherst fire officials said Friday.

Police Thursday night rushed to the motel at Main Street and Goodrich Road at 5:24 p.m. to find flames pouring from the front apartment of the six-unit building.

The fire was confined to three units, but the building received $150,000 in damage. There was $50,000 in damages to the building's contents.

Five motel occupants escaped unharmed, but not the 42-year-old Clarence man who fire officials said lived at the motel. They declined to release the man's name, pending further identification and notification of his family.

Investigators from the Erie County Sheriff's Office were at the scene of the fire Friday and had not yet determined the cause. No further information about the man or the fire's cause would likely be released until Monday, officials said.

The owner of the building is Paul Stephen, fire officials said, who owns other properties in Clarence. He could not be reached to comment.


Hit-and-run victim dies of her injuries

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Falls woman who was struck Tuesday by a hit and run vehicle as she crossed Niagara Falls Boulevard died Thursday.

Zenobia Williams, 76, of Beech Avenue, died in Erie County Medical Center, hospital officials said.

Williams was hit at 5:35 p.m. while crossing the boulevard at 82nd Street, police said.

She suffered a head injury and broken bones.

Police are still searching for the driver of the vehicle, who fled west on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Police do not have a description of the vehicle.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 286-4563.