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Clarence student denied bail on attempted murder charge

An Erie County judge has refused to allow bail for a Clarence High School student accused of the attempted murder of a former student, who was shot March 31 during what prosecutors characterize as a set-up confrontation.

Zachery Aroix, 17, of Clarence also is charged with attempted robbery and two counts of attempted assault in connection with the shooting at a construction site off Gentwood Drive, near Eastern Hills Mall.

Investigators believe that Aroix and two co-defendants, Ronald Andres of Williamsville and Marc R. Okon, both 17, lured Emaure Williams, 21, to the site, possibly to rob him.

However, they say, the plan turned violent and Williams was shot in the leg with a .22 rifle. Aroix allegedly fired that shot and then fired the weapon again as Williams made it back to his vehicle.

After Williams fled, Aroix sent him a text message “that indicated intent,” Judge Sheila A. DiTullio said.

“Mr. Aroix is charged with very serious charges, apparently from some drug war out in Clarence,” DiTullio said. “He’s charged with attempted murder; someone was shot in the leg. I’m more comfortable leaving him in jail.”

Aroix’s attorney, Joseph J. Terranova, had asked the judge Tuesday to consider setting a bond of $100,000 for Aroix, arguing that the teen lives with his parents and is not a flight risk. He also said Aroix has been feeling ill and lost weight in jail since his arrest April 1, and that there is an order of protection to keep Aroix away from his alleged victim. The teenager also is banned from the Clarence High School campus.

Prosecutor Nichalos T. Texido opposed that request.

The judge noted that the two co-defendants are free on bail, but they are accused of lesser offenses. Andres is charged with attempted robbery and two counts of attempted assault, and is free on $10,000 cash bail. Okon, charged with attempted robbery, is free on a $50,000 bail bond.

All three defendants are scheduled back in court July 6.

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