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Jury selection to begin in NT slaying trial

LOCKPORT – Jury selection will begin Tuesday in the trial of a Buffalo man accused of shooting one man to death and seriously wounding another in a North Tonawanda parking lot earlier this year.

However, because of various scheduling issues, opening statements and the beginning of testimony are not planned until Monday in the trial of Dominick Cruz, 40, of Amherst Street.

He is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Mark D. Sternin Jr., 25, of the City of Tonawanda, and with attempted murder and first-degree assault in the wounding of Tyler P. Sadauskas, 24, of Middleport.

The victims were shot about 1:30 a.m. Jan. 10 in a parking lot at Manhattan and Tremont streets in North Tonawanda. Although at least one witness told police that three men were in a car that sped away from the scene after the shooting, no one but Cruz has been charged.

Cruz got away from police when they tried to arrest him Jan. 11 at his work place, Speed Global Services on Kenmore Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda. He escaped through a side door, and the resulting search caused a 3 1/2-hour lockout at the nearby Charter School For Applied Technologies.

Cruz eventually made it to Lancaster, Pa., where he was apprehended April 1. He was subsequently extradited back to Niagara County, where he is being held without bail.

Cruz faces a potential sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann and Assistant District Attorney Peter M. Wydysh will be the prosecutors in the case, while Cruz will be represented by Assistant Public Defender Christopher A. Privateer. County Judge Sara Sheldon will preside in the trial, which may last into the week of Oct. 10.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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