December 6, 2007

Criminal Sentences

A North Tonawanda drug dealer was placed on interim probation for six months. William A. Bacon, 29, had pleaded guilty to attempted fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

A man who crashed his truck into a guardrail May 19 avoided jail time Wednesday in Niagara County Court, where he was sentenced on a felony count of driving while intoxicated. Timothy J. Gima, 51, was placed on five years’ probation.

Thomas Stout, 24, of North Tonawanda will be on five years’ probation for driving while intoxicated. He had pleaded guilty to felony DWI.

Wayne C. Gaige, 54, of Mapleton Road, Wheatfield, drew five years’ probation. He had pleaded guilty to two felony counts of driving while intoxicated, settling a case that included three arrests: Dec. 21, 2005, and Jan. 20, 2006, in Wheatfield, and Feb. 17, 2006, in the Town of Niagara.

Todd M. Sanney Jr. of Lockport was placed on five years' probation. He had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Frank J. Marino, 32, of Niagara Falls, drew a wide-ranging sentence Thursday in a felony case of driving while intoxicated. He was placed on probation for five years but also ordered to serve 10 weekends in jail and 20 days in the county work program, pay a $1,000 fine and attend mental health court in Niagara Falls. Marino was pulled over Jan. 30 in Niagara Falls. It was Marino’s fourth drunken-driving arrest.

A former Niagara Falls man, connected to a 2003 burglary case by DNA, won’t have to serve any additional time in prison because of it. Robert E. Wall Jr., 39, was sentenced to two to four years in prison for his guilty plea to attempted second-degree burglary but made the time was made concurrent with the seven-year sentence Wall is serving for another 2003 burglary.

A Newfane man who had pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree burglary was placed on five years’ probation. Edmund F. Merchant, 20, of South Main Street, Newfane, broke into a house on Dutton Place in Newfane on March 5.

Jamil T. Marable, 30, of Tennessee Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling cocaine at Fashion Outlets USA in the Town of Niagara on July 21, 2006. The Niagara Falls drug dealer was given five years’ probation.

Peter T. Jackson, 38, formerly of Willow Street, Lockport, was fined $1,000 and sentenced to five years’ probation for his guilty plea to a felony count of driving while intoxicated.

A combination of jail time, probation and $12,470 in restitution was prescribed for a burglar. Tommy M. Pace, 43, of Cleveland Avenue, Niagara Falls, will serve six months in jail to lead off a five-year probation stint. Pace pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary after stripping copper pipe from homes.

What do all of these sentences have in common? They were all handed down by Niagara County Court Judge Peter Broderick. So what we've learned is that if you drive drunk, including felony DWI, get arrested and appear before Broderick, you're walking out of court.

If you break into some one's home, steal their belongings, get arrested and appear before Broderick, you'll be walking out.

If you deal drugs, get arrested and appear before Peter Broderick, you'll most likely be home the same day. If you crash your car into a guardrail, which could have been a person, you're going home. If you get four DWIs and appear before Broderick, all is well, just head on home.

But they all got probation. The drug dealers, the burglars, the felony DWI offenders, I'm sure none of them will ever commit their crimes again.

Unfortunately, Matt Murphy, as District Attorney, has also shown a propensity to go soft on criminals and cut deals.

Is it any wonder that Niagara County has become the haven for drug trafficking that it is?

Even in Lockport, where Judge Bill Watson was censured for inappropriate conduct related to his campaign promise of putting criminals in jail, it's become a joke. Repeat offenders are regularly brought before Watson and continue to be released without penalty. A man who was once feared on the bench has become a pussycat.

When does it stop? At what point do judges take some responsibility for the crimes that are committed on our streets? At what point to Assistant District Attorneys and Public Defenders stop cutting deals?

The police are doing their jobs. They risk their lives everyday to bring down the scum that plagues our streets, only to have some spineless lawyer who's afraid to actually go into court and try a case undercut his efforts. Cutting a deal is much easier, and it makes the D.A.'s office conviction rate look much better.

But nothing is being done to keep the criminals off the streets. Lawyers and judges need to take some responsibility for the crimes that are committed in this community. Until they do, we'll continue to be a haven for drug dealers and drunk drivers.


Anonymous said...

This is an outrage. What can be done about this? What are our rights as citizens to demand more for the judiciary?

It's crap like this that makes me say SCREW THEM when it comes to the judges whining about how underpaid they are. They do little work, act like they are kings and do nothing to protect us.

Again, I say SCREW THEM.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that Broderick is so soft in DWI, and especially felont DWI since he lost a child to a drunk driver. Go figure.

Watson is simply an across the board disappointment when it comes to being tough on crime.

He is personally responsible for the deterioration of certain neighborhoods in Lockport. Be proud of that, Billy.

Pete M said...

Watson make Betsy Hurley look competent.

Anonymous said...

the reason that they cut deals all the time is because of the work load. There is a continuous problem with an overabundance of workload for the judiciary, both judges and county DAs. Not saying that cutting deals is correct, but in order to get all of the cases in a "speedy manner" they cut deals. Maybe instead of giving them all time in jail with nothing they should put them in rehab programs to help perhaps keep a few from being repeat offenders and less caseloads

EyeonLockport said...

SA: what are the chances Edwin Shoemaker shennanighans catch up with him. The Comptroller is in Somerset - hopefully they will look into Fortistar's huge power plant in Lockport that pays $0 in taxes (sweetheart deal). Well, here comes Shoemaker and Lewis Staley again. Not only do they not pay taxes but they do not pay for water services. They have flipped off Niagara County for too long.
LOCKPORT: Fortistar sued over water sale contract

Staff Reports
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

The City of Lockport is suing Fortistar North Tonawanda Inc. for breach of contract.

The lawsuit, filed this week in state Supreme Court, claims Fortistar owes the city $36,000 plus interest for monthly minimum water tap-in fees not paid since August 2004.

In March 2004, Fortistar, a co-generation company, struck a deal with the city to tap into its raw water line, which starts at the Niagara River in North Tonawanda, and purchase water for its operations.

In the seven-year contract, Fortistar agreed to buy water at the rate of 75 cents per 1,000 gallons or, in lieu, pay the city a monthly minimum fee of $1,000.

The deal was a loss for the City of North Tonawanda, which had been selling water to the company.

But Fortistar never tapped into the Lockport line and it stopped paying the minimum fee several months after the contract was signed, according to City Attorney John J. Ottaviano.

Ottaviano said he attempted to get a lump-sum settlement from the company about a year ago, and the deal fell through.

“It never came to fruition, so we’re forced to sue,” he said. “It’s not an easy decision.”

Court dates won’t be set until Fortistar answers the suit. The company is being served the papers this week, Ottaviano said.