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10 years for 10 stab wounds is sentence in Falls assault

LOCKPORT – Earl L. Roberson Jr., who stabbed another man 10 times Sept. 21 in Niagara Falls, was sentenced Thursday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon to 10 years in prison.

“I’m not an animal. I’m a good person,” Roberson told Sheldon, who also imposed five years of post-release supervision.

Roberson, 38, a former area resident now living in Spartanburg, S.C., had said he was back in Niagara Falls for a vacation when he was robbed a couple of days before the stabbing. Assistant District Attorney Peter M. Wydysh told Sheldon that the victim heard that Roberson was looking for the robber, but the stabbing victim denied being that person.

“When you push me, I take matters into my own hands. And I always lose,” Roberson said before breaking down in sobs.

In addition to a plea to attempted first-degree assault for the stabbing, Roberson also pleaded guilty to petit larceny for robbing a Niagara Falls cab driver of $40 on Nov. 13, and to third-degree assault for cutting a woman on the finger during an altercation Nov. 16.

Sheldon issued one-year sentences on both of those misdemeanors, but they will merge with the 10-year sentence for the stabbing.

Also in Sheldon’s courtroom Thursday, a Wheatfield man pleaded not guilty to a 16-count indictment that accused him of assaulting and robbing an escort before stealing her car, burglarizing his father’s house and stealing his car, and then leading police on a chase that ended in an officer’s injury, all on Jan. 21.

Jeffrey W. Brown, 50, of Stenzel Avenue, was held without bail.

Assistant District Attorney Cheryl L. Nichols said Brown met with the woman in the home of Brown’s deceased mother, where the woman was beaten, sprayed with Mace and threatened with a knife. After leaving in her car, Brown allegedly went to the home of his father, who was in Florida at the time, and stole his car.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said Brown allegedly drove to Niagara Falls, stole another car, and led police on a chase that went off-road back in Brown’s neighborhood. Nichols said Brown crashed the car, and an officer was hurt trying to subdue him

Assistant Public Defender Charles F. Pitarresi said Brown, an independent home remodeling contractor until about 18 months ago, has a drinking problem.

The indictment includes three counts of second-degree assault, two counts each of first- and second-degree robbery and fourth-degree grand larceny, single counts of second-degree burglary, third-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer and reckless driving, and four counts of driving while intoxicated.