Niagara Gazette


March 20, 2013

Witness testimony is OK'd in Belton case

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — The eyewitness identification of a Falls teenager, accused of gunning down his uncle, can be used at his up-coming murder trial.

Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas ruled Wednesday that the identification obtained by Falls Police detectives was legal and proper and that prosecutors can use the witness' testimony against Darius "Drizz" Belton.

Belton, 18, 1666 South Ave., is scheduled to go to trial on April 17 on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the shooting death of his uncle Luis Ubiles. A conviction on the murder charge would mean Belton could face 25 years to life behind bars.

The teen has rejected a plea offer from prosecutors and his defense team says he may claim he acted "in self defense." The plea offer would have required Belton to plead guilty to a charge of first-degree manslaughter and face a maximum prison term of 20 years.

Belton's attorney, Angelo Musitano. says the offer is "unacceptable." The high-profile defense lawyer has objected to the potential length of the prison sentence in the plea deal.

"I don't care about the (first-degree manslaughter charge), but 20 years is too long," he said.

Musitano has said a lesser potential sentence could still lead to a deal before trial.

"If the (potential maximum sentence) comes down between now (and April 17) there is still the possibility of a plea," Musitano said.

When Falls police responded to the shooting call on Sept. 25 in the 1600 block of South Avenue, just a few blocks from police headquarters, they found Ubiles, 37, 1670 South Ave., with a single gunshot wound. He was lying in front of Belton's home when the officers arrived.

The gunshot struck Ubiles just below his chest in his abdomen. Ubiles was rushed to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page