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Attorney given 6 weeks to seek to withdraw plea in Falls homicide

LOCKPORT – The new defense attorney for a Niagara Falls man who pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in a barroom killing has been given six weeks to file a motion seeking to withdraw the plea.

Matthew Parrinello was instructed Monday to file by Jan. 4 in the case of Algernon R. Dix, 35, of 16th Street, who admitted in September that he gunned down Franchot B. Wallace, 29, March 7 during a private party in the 3M’s Club on Highland Avenue in the Falls. Wallace was shot twice in the back. The plea deal, worked out by then-defense counsel Herbert L. Greenman, came after a grand jury indicted Dix for second-degree murder, which is the charge Dix will face at trial if Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III lets Dix out of the plea bargain.

On Sept, 8, Murphy promised Dix a sentence of between 15 and 20 years in prison. If convicted of the murder and an associated gun possession, Dix could spend the rest of his life behind bars, with as much as 40 years passing before he’s eligible for parole.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann will have two weeks to reply to Parrinello’s motion, and the attorneys will appear again before Murphy Jan. 25.