Niagara Gazette

Courts

July 1, 2014

Maximum sentence handed down to businessman accused of trying to kill brother-in-law

LOCKPORT — His victim asked for "the max."

And that's just what a Niagara County Court judge handed down to Timothy Depetris.

Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas told Depetris he will spend the next 25 years of his life behind bars for his botched attempt to kill his brother-in-law. He was sentenced during a proceeding Monday morning.

The son of the founder of Electrodyn Choke Corp., Depetris, 44, had faced a prison term of between 15 to 25 years after he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree attempted murder, one count of first-degree assault, three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, one count of first-degree criminal use of a firearm and one count of second-degree criminal trespass in a deal with prosecutors over the shooting of his brother-in-law in March 2012.

As part of the deal, Deputy District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann asked Farkas to dismiss a second indictment that Depetris faced, accusing him of plotting to hire a hitman to kill both his brother-in-law, and a witness to his first crime, while he was being held in the Niagara County Jail following his arrest for the shooting incident.

"This was nothing like any other case that we typically see coming out of Niagara Falls," Hoffmann said. "He was searching out (the victim) for months before he showed up that night at his business. He went there that night with the intention to murder (the victim)."

Depetris was accused of shooting his brother-in-law, Santos Viola, in the doorway of his business in the 2300 block of Hyde Park Boulevard. Viola, 56, had gone to the door for a pizza delivery and  was shot in the upper chest, near his shoulder.

After multiple surgeries, Viola told Farkas his scars serve "as a daily reminder" of what happened to him.

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