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Man in armed Wheatfield standoff avoids jail, will leave state

James E. Walcott, who held police at bay for an hour during an armed standoff on Halloween 2016, was placed on five years' probation Thursday. He said he intends to move to Michigan.

Walcott, 47, fired a shot inside his home on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Wheatfield, where his estranged wife was present, and threatened to fire at officers, Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baerhe said.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. warned Walcott to avoid alcohol.

"That's your enemy," said the judge, who could have sent Walcott to prison for seven years. He gave Walcott a chance on interim probation after his March 2017 guilty plea to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

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