Niagara Gazette


February 28, 2013

Falls teen may claim self defense in slaying of uncle

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A Falls teenager, accused of gunning down his uncle, has rejected a plea offer from prosecutors and may claim he acted "in self defense."

During a hearing Thursday for Darius "Drizz" Belton, his defense team told Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas they would not accept an offer that would require their client to plead guilty to a charge of first-degree manslaughter and face a maximum prison term of 20 years.

"We considered the (plea offer) the other night and it is not acceptable," defense attorney Angelo Musitano told Farkas.

Belton, 18, 1666 South Ave., faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the murder of his uncle Luis Ubiles on Sept. 25. A conviction on the murder charge would mean Belton could face 25 years to life behind bars.

Outside the courtroom, Musitano said he objected to the length of the proposed sentence in the plea deal.

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

When asked by reporters what would be an acceptable sentence, Musitano replied, "Something much less than 20."

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

When Falls police responded to the shooting call 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.

Witnesses to the shooting were not initially cooperative with police.

"Everybody said they didn't see anything," Detective Lt. Michael Trane said at the time.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground
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