Niagara Gazette

Courts

June 19, 2014

Judge refuses to allow Timothy Depetris to reverse plea deal

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — Timothy Depetris will not get another day in court, other than his sentencing for pleading guilty to the attempted murder of his brother-in-law.

Following spirited arguments Wednesday morning, Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas refused to allow the Falls businessman to withdraw his plea to seven charges connected to the shooting of his brother-in-law in what investigators said was a “business dispute.” 

“I am very satisfied with the facts and circumstances (that surrounded Depetris’ plea hearing),” the judge said. “This plea was taken in an appropriate fashion and I am dismissing the motion to withdraw that plea.”

Veteran defense attorney George Muscato argued vigorously to Farkas that Depetris was “in an emotionally deteriorating state” when he took the plea on Jan. 29. 

“It would appear there was significant medical reasons why (Depetris) was unable to meet the standard ... that his plea was voluntary,” Muscato said. “

Muscato said just three weeks prior to the plea hearing, Depetris attempted suicide at the Niagara County Jail. He said Depetris remained suicidal right up until the day he took his plea.

“I don’t understand how he can be in good mental and physical health (which is necessary to take a plea), when he had just attempted suicide,” Muscato said. “Something seriously was wrong with him.”

Depetris, 44, 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 during his plea hearing. 

The son of the founder of Electrodyn Choke Corp., Depetris is facing between 15 to 25 years in prison. His plea was part of a deal with prosecutors,

In return for the plea, prosecutors had agreed to dismiss all the charges in a second indictment that Depetris faced. That case involved allegations that he tried to hire a hitman to kill his brother-in-law, and a witness to his first crime, while he was being held in the Niagara County Jail.

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