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North Tonawanda murder suspect ordered to give DNA sample

LOCKPORT – Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon ordered a DNA sample to be given Thursday by a man accused of shooting two men, one fatally, in North Tonawanda earlier this year.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said the prosecution wanted a sample from Dominick Cruz to compare with unidentified DNA found on “items left behind at the scene” and on vehicles in the parking lot at Manhattan and Tremont streets, where the crime occurred at about 1:30 a.m. Jan. 10.

Cruz, 40, of Amherst Street, Buffalo, pleaded not guilty April 21 to second-degree murder, attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the slaying of Mark D. Sternin Jr., 25, of the City of Tonawanda, and the wounding of Tyler P. Sadauskas, 24, of Middleport.

Three men were seen speeding away from the scene in a car, but Hoffmann said no one else has been charged in the case. Cruz was extradited back to Niagara County from Lancaster, Pa., where he was arrested April 1. He is being held without bail in the County Jail.