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Man charged in two Lockport robberies receives probation

LOCKPORT – A man who was charged with two robberies in the City of Lockport in April was placed on five years’ probation Friday.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon also ordered six months in the County Jail for Benjamin J. Fountain, 20, of Pound Street, Lockport. However, Fountain already has served almost four months, and customarily prisoners are released after completing two-thirds of a jail sentence, so he may not be behind bars for much longer.

“I have so many years ahead of me. It would be a shame to have some taken away,” Fountain said.

“Ben’s ready to grow up and get back on track,” defense attorney Mario J. Gregori said. Sheldon said she was adopting a sentencing recommendation from a county probation officer.

Fountain and another man knocked down a skateboarder outside the Kenan Arena April 13, breaking his glasses and stealing a knife from his pocket. Fountain and the co-defendant, who is eligible for youthful offender status, owe the victim $115 in restitution. Both pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery.

Fountain also was charged with taking part in the gunpoint robbery of a man on Harvey Avenue in Lockport April 15, but that charge was dropped in the plea bargain. However, a co-defendant in that case, Christian A. Robinson Jr., 23, of Rochester, pleaded guilty to having a loaded semiautomatic pistol and is awaiting sentencing to state prison as a repeat felon.

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