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Plea deal falls through in Falls robbery case

LOCKPORT – A plea deal for a Niagara Falls man accused of two robberies was aborted this week in Niagara County Court.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said Thomas M. Flatt, 56, of Eighth Street, was offered a plea to third-degree robbery, but when asked by Judge Sara Sheldon if anyone was forcing him to take the plea, Flatt answered yes, and Sheldon refused to go further.

Third-degree robbery is a felony carrying a seven-year maximum prison term. Flatt is accused of robbing a cashier at the Tops market on Portage Road in the Falls on March 29, and of robbing the Citizens Bank branch in that supermarket on April 9.

Flatt signed a waiver of indictment before the plea fell apart, so Hoffmann said Flatt will be prosecuted as if he had been indicted, with his next court date being Aug. 4.