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Five-year sentence for man who beat up pro boxer

LOCKPORT – Attorneys in the case of Michael P. Vicki, the Town of Niagara man who used a metal object to beat up a pro boxer in a fight over a woman, continued to argue Friday over how badly junior welterweight contender Nick Casal was hurt.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas settled it.

“The injuries were horrendous,” the judge said as she sent Vicki to state prison for five years, to be followed by three years of post-release supervision.

Vicki, 31, of Portland Street, had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted first-degree assault and fifth-degree insurance fraud.

The latter charge resulted from a separate incident in which Vicki falsely reported his car had been stolen after he crashed it into a tree and left the scene.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said Casal, now 29, was badly hurt in the May 12 fight at Vicki’s home.

“Mr. Casal had a bruise on the brain,” Hoffmann said.

She said 15 staples and 250 to 300 stitches were used to close four or five “very deep lacerations” on his head. Casal also suffered an arm injury.

“It’s our position he is recovered,” defense attorney James J. Faso Jr. said.

“What bothers him was that he lost a year of his career. What bothers him was that he lost a [possible] title shot.”

“Mr. Casal was a professional boxer and has been put into a position where he can no longer work,” Hoffmann said.

She conceded that Casal has talked of a comeback, but he has yet to enter the ring.

Casal went to Vicki’s house after being called by his ex-girlfriend, who said she was with Vicki.

Farkas agreed with Faso when he said, “I’m not blaming Mr. Casal, but if he had chosen not to show up, we wouldn’t be here now … It was a recipe for disaster.”

In another case Friday, Farkas imposed five years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision on a Niagara Falls man who shot another man in the right calf.

Billy M. Benton Jr., 24, of Niagara Avenue, had pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for shooting Curtis Cheley, 52, Nov. 23 on Ninth Street.