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Town of Niagara man pleads not guilty to attempted murder in shooting

LOCKPORT – A Town of Niagara man accused of shooting and wounding another man on New Year’s Eve was arraigned in State Supreme Court on Thursday after being indicted by a grand jury.

Thomas M. Lasher, 49, of Miller Road, appeared with his attorney, Robert M. Goldstein, and pleaded not guilty before Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. to charges of attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

He was allowed to remain free after previously posting $50,000 bail.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann. A trial date was scheduled for Dec. 7.

Lasher is accused of shooting Douglas K. Walck, 43, also of the Town of Niagara, in the stomach outside the victim’s Expressway Village home at about 11:35 p.m. State Police said Lasher fired two more rounds at Walck’s trailer home.

Troopers seized a 20-gauge shotgun from Lasher’s home, which they believe is the weapon used to shoot Walck.

Also arraigned were:

• Kenneth A. Edmister, 28, of Pearson Road, Middleport, who is accused of several burglaries in the City and the Town of Lockport and the Middleport area in May.

Edmister, who appeared before Kloch with Assistant Public Defender Charles F. Pitarresi, entered a plea of not guilty to four counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of grand larceny, petit larceny, second-degree assault, second-degree escape and attempted escape.

Bail, which was set in a lower court, remains at $155,000 and Edmister was remanded to Niagara County Jail.

• Edsil E. Cook, 69, of Buffalo, charged with third-degree burglary and petit larceny for allegedly trying to steal two 9-volt batteries and a pair of pliers from the Walmart superstore on Military Road in Niagara Falls on Jan. 9. Cook, who was represented a public defender, pleaded not guilty. He was released on his own recognizance and a trial date was set for Nov. 30. Cook, police said, had been banned from all Walmarts because of a previous shoplifting arrest at the Walmart in Amherst.