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Friend charged in stabbing of 29-year-old Amity man

AMITY – A 29-year-old man was found stabbed to death on a rural road early Friday, and a suspect in his slaying turned himself in to state troopers, state police said.

Police were alerted to a man stabbed on Tuckers Corner Road in the Town of Amity at about 12:30 a.m. Friday.

They found Jason S. Cipriano, 29, who lived nearby on Tuckers Road, lying "unresponsive" on the shoulder of the road, according to a statement from police. He was soon pronounced dead by the Allegany County coroner.

Investigators quickly learned that Cipriano had gotten into an argument with a friend – identified as Jason E. Mehmel, 33, of Angelica – that turned physical.
Mehmel allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Cipriano in the chest.

Police said Mehmel then fled on foot from the crime scene and, within an hour, walked into the State Police barracks in Amity to turn himself in.

After police consulted with Allegany County District Attorney Keith Slep, Mehmel was charged with second-degree murder as well as a misdemeanor charge of weapons possession.


Prison officials place
 Wende under lockdown

The state's maximum security Wende Correctional Facility in Alden was placed on lockdown at 7 a.m. Friday so that the 884 inmates of the facility could be frisked. The process could take up to 72 hours, according to Peter K. Cutler, spokesman for the state prison system

Within the past week, security staff at the Alden facility confiscated some weapons and other illegal contraband from inmates that prompted the facility's executive staff, in consultation with officials in Albany, to stage the lockdown, Cutler said.

During the lockdown, recreation programs are suspended and inmates eat their meals in their cells, but visitation and sick calls are not suspended, Cutler said.
The whole process is done to ensure the safety and security of everyone in the facility, both inmates and staff, and any inmate caught with illegal contraband will face disciplinary charges and sanctions, Cutler said.


Man arraigned on charges
 of assault, burglary, robbery

A 32-year-old man was arraigned Friday on charges that he robbed and beat two victims, including an 80-year-old woman, in separate incidents last December.

Tige Billingsley, who has no known address, faces up to 75 years in prison if he is convicted, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

He appeared before State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang.

Prosecutors said Billingsley and a co-defendant stole a wallet from a 65-year-old man on William Street and beat him with a gun Dec. 6.

Ten days later, Billingsley and a co-defendant robbed an 80-year-old woman of her purse and her car, prosecutors said. Billingsley allegedly burglarized her home, restrained the victim with duct tape and beat her with a gun, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Billingsley faces charges of second-degree assault, first-degree burglary and two counts of first-degree robbery.


Inmate, fiancee charged
 in smuggling attempt

Charles Allaway, 47, and his fiancee, Nadine Lawrence, 52, have been charged with trying to smuggle drugs and a razor blade into the Erie County Holding Center as they embraced Thursday morning, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard reported.

Allaway, formerly of Rawlins Street, was being held in the downtown lockup on several assault cases. Deputies said that as Allaway and Lawrence embraced during a required marriage counseling session at the jail, she tried to slip him a razor blade, marijuana and rolling paper.

Allaway was charged with possession of dangerous prison contraband, criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use and unlawful possession of marijuana. Lawrence is now being held in a women's cell block on a charge of introducing dangerous contraband, criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use and unlawful possession of marijuana.


Two accused of passing
 counterfeit money

Town of Tonawanda police have charged two men with passing 
counterfeit $5, $10 and $20 bills in town restaurants and businesses Friday.

The names of the men, both in their 20s, were withheld pending a determination of the exact charges to be lodged in the case. Both remain jailed.

Police said one of the counterfeit bills may have been handed back to another customer as change for a purchase unrelated to the two suspects. Many of the counterfeit bills had a thin white margin on their backs.