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Attorney says Falls gunman has right to drink; judge disagrees

LOCKPORT – The attorney for a man who fired gunshots at his own home last year argued Thursday that his client should not be required to stop drinking.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon disagreed and imposed the standard abstinence condition in a five-year probation sentence for Jeremy M. Eberly, 32, of Ferry Avenue, Niagara Falls.

Eberly pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a firearm, a SAFE Act felony, for using an unregistered gun in the Aug. 3, 2014, incident, in which no one was hurt.

Attorney Glenn Pincus said the crime resulted from “a psychotic episode,” not drugs or drinking. He said Eberly “has just as much right to have a beer on a warm summer evening or while watching a Bills game on Sunday as anyone else.”

The judge quoted Eberly’s statement: “I went out partying that night.” Sheldon continued, “What does that mean? I know what that means. It means drinking and drugs.”

Police took Eberly for a mental health evaluation after arresting him. He told officers there were armed people in the house, in the bushes and behind his car. The police could not find those people.