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Man suspected of hit-run crash while high offered a plea deal

A Niagara Falls driver, charged with running down and seriously injuring a pedestrian Jan. 2, was offered a plea deal Friday to settle that case and a marijuana possession charge.

Laverne S. Streeter, 36, of Third Street, was given until May 25 to decide whether he wants to plead guilty to two Class E felonies. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas promised concurrent sentencing, which would limit Streeter's prison time to four years.

Deputy District Attorney Theodore A. Brenner announced that he was offering Streeter a chance to plead guilty to leaving the scene of a serious injury accident without reporting and attempted second-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

If convicted at trial on both original indictments, Streeter would face a maximum of 14 years behind bars.

Marquita Mull, 40, of Niagara Avenue, Niagara Falls, was seriously injured just after 11 p.m. Jan. 2, when she was struck by a black sport utility vehicle while crossing the street in the 1900 block of Ferry Avenue.

Streeter was accused of being under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident.

He also was indicted on charges of having 1.64 pounds of that drug, along with minor amounts of methadone and lorazepam, on Nov. 16, when police raided his home and another address on Willow Avenue.

In other cases before Farkas Friday:

*Ravi J. Falsetti, 29, of High Street, Lockport, pleaded guilty to stealing about $8,000 from the till at Kenyon's Variety on Lincoln Avenue in Lockport, where he worked from March through November of last year.

Farkas admitted Falsetti to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment. Falsetti told screeners he uses street methadone daily and downs at least 12 alcoholic drinks per day, five times a week.

If he succeeds in treatment, the third-degree grand larceny charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor with a probation sentence. But if Falsetti flunks out of the program, he risks up to seven years in prison.

*Douglas D. Ellison, 28, of Jordan Gardens, Niagara Falls, was sentenced to a year in jail for driving under the influence of drugs. Ellison had taken hydrocodone shortly before an Oct. 1, 2010, traffic stop in the Falls.

Eddie A. James, 40, of East Avenue, Lockport, who was arraigned last month on an indictment accusing him of drug possession and trying to force his way into a Lockport apartment Nov. 5, pleaded not guilty to a second indictment.

This time, James is charged with two counts each of third-degree sale and possession of a controlled substance. He allegedly sold crack cocaine in Lockport Nov. 29 and Jan. 24. Farkas ordered James held in lieu of $10,000 bail.