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Lockport man pleads guilty to jewelry theft, gets diversion

LOCKPORT – A man who stole more than $3,000 worth of jewelry from his girlfriend’s aunt pleaded guilty Wednesday and was assigned to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon.

Michael H. Howe, 23, of Tudor Lane, Lockport, admitted to third-degree grand larceny. He faces up to seven years in prison if he washes out of drug treatment, but if he succeeds, he will receive a nonjail sentence after the felony is reduced to a misdemeanor.

Charges remain pending against Howe’s girlfriend, Lisa M. Paladino, 19, of Aaron Drive, Town of Lockport, who also has been screened for possible admission to the diversion program. The theft occurred Nov. 2 in the Town of Lockport. The jewelry was recovered, Assistant District Attorney Ryan K. Parisi said.