Niagara Gazette

August 4, 2013

Falls teen facing eight years in prison after plea deal

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A Falls teenager, with a history of violent arrests, could face up to eight years behind bars after pleading guilty to assault, weapons and drug charges.

Cornelius Redden, 18, entered the guilty pleas in a deal with prosecutors to close three pending cases against him. He pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in connection with an October drug bust that caught him with a significant quantity of crack cocaine. 

Redden also pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree assault in a May 10 shooting of a rival drug dealer and pled to a charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection with a June 2 incident where he accidentally shot himself.

As part of the deal, Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas agreed to sentence Redden to no more than than 7 years in prison of the assault and weapons charge and no more than one and a half years on the drug charge.

Redden had originally rejected the plea offer and appeared sullen and uncooperative as he stood before Farkas. At one point in the proceedings, Redden told the judge he felt he was being pushed by his attorneys to take the plea deal.

"There was a lot of pressure on me from my lawyers," he told Farkas.

However, when the judge said she would not go forward if he had been pressured, Redden retracted the claim and entered the pleas.

Redden is currently serving five years probation for a series of robberies he was convicted of when he was just 16. He was sentenced in that case as a youthful offender.

First Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann noted that Redden was on probation when he was arrested on the drug charge and out on bail from the drug charge when he shot the rival dealer and himself.

In August 2011, Redden was also charged in connection with an attack on another inmate at the Niagara County Jail.