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Country singer held in domestic violence and gun case

LOCKPORT – Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III refused Tuesday to reduce the $50,000 bail set on a touring country singer who started a relationship with a Royalton woman and was charged with choking her.

Michael S. Moore, 42, also faces a potential Class C felony gun charge after police, who were allowed by the woman to search her Hartland Road home, allegedly found a nine-shot revolver for which Moore had no New York permit. Assistant District Attorney Cheryl L. Nichols said Moore has no connection to this area other than his “intimate relationship” with the local woman, and called him “transient.”

Tuesday, Moore, who performs under the name Michael Wright, refused a preindictment plea offer to two misdemeanors, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal obstruction of breathing. Nichols said she expects to submit the case to a grand jury shortly, and she expects the felony gun count, with a mandatory state prison sentence ranging from 3½ to 15 years, to be part of the indictment.

The choking incident allegedly occurred Oct. 22, and Moore was arrested five days later. He has been in the Niagara County Jail ever since. Nichols denied claims by defense attorney Christopher A. Privateer that the woman was coerced into giving a statement and that Moore was denied access to an attorney while being questioned.