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DNA test exonerates Lockport man in gun case

LOCKPORT – A felony gun possession indictment against a Lockport man was dismissed Friday after a DNA test showed he had no connection with the gun.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon threw out the charges against Rico L. Freeman, 32, of Strauss Road. However, Freeman’s co-defendant, DeAndre L. Ingram, admitted ownership of the gun Friday, pleading guilty to a felony.

Sheldon agreed to sentence Ingram, 31, of Clinton Street, Lockport, to no more than five years in prison when he returns to court Nov. 16.

Freeman’s attorney, James J. Faso Jr., said Freeman was driving his own vehicle, with Ingram as the front-seat passenger, when he was stopped for a traffic violation Nov. 21 in the Town of Lockport. A search turned up the handgun in the glove compartment. Faso said Freeman had no knowledge of it, but both men were indicted on charges that could have brought them up to 15 years in prison.

Ingram, a second-time felon because of a 2011 robbery conviction in Ohio, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

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