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Sexual assault counts against man dismissed

LOCKPORT -- All charges were dismissed Wednesday against a Niagara Falls man who was originally indicted on predatory sexual assault charges that could have landed him in prison for the rest of his life.

Nicholas Jenkins Jr., 29, of Ninth Street, could not be prosecuted because the District Attorney's Office was not able to bring the alleged rape victim to testify, Assistant Public Defender Michele G. Bergevin said.

That forced Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas to throw out the second of two rape charges against Jenkins. The first was dismissed in April after Farkas ruled for Bergevin, who argued successfully that prosecutors didn't meet a deadline to declare readiness for trial.


Autopsy being conducted on body taken from river

The body of a white male recovered from the lower Niagara River just above the Niagara Whirlpool on Tuesday is currently in the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy, the State Parks Police announced Wednesday.

Officials said the victim was 20 to 30 years old with dark hair, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and 135 pounds. He was wearing blue jeans, a black belt, black socks and white sneakers.

Anyone aware of a missing person matching that description is asked to contact the police at (716) 278-1777.


Man held after BB shot blinds girl in one eye

LOCKPORT -- A North Tonawanda man who allegedly shot his girlfriend with a BB gun, leaving her blind in her right eye, was arraigned Wednesday in Niagara County Court.

Donnell J. Kent, 19, who told police he was homeless after the May 8 incident, pleaded not guilty to reckless second-degree assault. Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas ordered Kent held on $10,000 bail.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Scalzo said Kent was convicted of several house burglaries in Niagara Falls last year and skipped out on that city's mental health court. Scalzo said he thought the shooting of the 16-year-old girl, which occurred on Second Avenue in North Tonawanda, was unintentional.

He said the BB split a nerve and lodged permanently behind the victim's eyeball.


Sex offender charged in rape, choking of girl

NORTH TONAWANDA -- A registered sex offender was charged Wednesday by state police and North Tonawanda officers on first-degree rape and other counts.

Issac L. McDonald, of 24th Street, Niagara Falls, who was convicted of rape in 2003, was arrested on Keil Street. He also was charged with attempted strangulation and third-degree rape.

He is accused of harassing telephones calls he has been making to a 16-year-old Niagara Falls girl with whom he used to be sexually active.

State police said McDonald is accused of raping a 16-year-old Niagara Falls girl.

Investigators said they acted on a complaint from the girl's mother, who said McDonald would at times choke her daughter to force her to have sexual intercourse.

McDonald, a Level 3 sexual offender, is being held in the Niagara Falls Police Department's lockup pending his arraignment today in Niagara Falls City Court.


Lockport jewelry thief gets 2-4 years in prison

LOCKPORT -- Two to four years in prison and $4,000 in restitution were ordered by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas on Wednesday for a Lockport man who stole jewelry from a Lockport home Dec. 30.

Marquis M. Hill, 29, of High Street, had pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny. Assistant Public Defender Michael H. White said Hill "has some mental deficiencies. He can't tell right from wrong sometimes."


Blood found in rental car prompts investigation

PENDLETON -- Niagara County sheriff's deputies are inspecting a rental car that was found with a large amount of blood and mud.

A South Transit Road detailing company called deputies at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday when they received a rental vehicle, a 2012 Suburu Outback, with a strong odor and reddish material on the driver's side rear door, on the seats and on the ceiling, believed to be a combination of blood and mud.

A rental manager said they sent the vehicle out for cleaning due to the stains. They said the last user of the vehicle was a 26-year-old man with an Arkansas address who picked up the vehicle at Buffalo Niagara International Airport and then drove for 886 miles before returning the car.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating.


Woman accused of cutting another woman with razor

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Niagara Falls woman was charged with cutting another city woman with a razor blade after a fight broke out just before 11 p.m. Tuesday in the 1600 block of Cleveland Avenue.

Shawnquilla N. Armstrong, 20, of Ninth Street, was charged by city police with felony second-degree assault with a weapon and fourth-degree criminal mischief.

She is accused of cutting a 19-year-old woman on the face and body.