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Lackawanna man gets seven years for beating wife, staging standoff

A Lackawanna man who attacked his estranged wife when she arrived at his apartment last Halloween, then held off police for five hours before he agreed to surrender, got the maximum prison sentence this week.

State Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Haendiges imposed the seven-year term on Kenneth Markle, 42, who had pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, according to Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.

Before sentencing, Markle promised to become a productive member of society and asked the judge to give him the minimum prison sentence followed by probation.

But the judge told him that the only way she could ensure his wife’s safety was to sentence him to the maximum.

Prosecutors said Markle turned off all the lights in his apartment on Magnolia Street that evening and waited for his wife, then hit her in the head with a baseball bat and choked her. She fought him off and escaped with their child to a neighbor’s houses.

During the police standoff, he boasted through text messages, phone calls and social media that he was the cause of the standoff, which disrupted trick-or-treating on the block, prosecutors said.

Sedita credited Lackawanna police for resolving the standoff peacefully without further harm to anyone.