Niagara Gazette

Courts

October 22, 2013

DA's office makes Depetris an offer

LOCKPORT — Niagara Country prosecutors have offered a deal to a Falls businessman who tried, and failed, to kill his brother-in-law and then tried to hire a hitman to kill his relative and a witness to the first crime.

First Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann told County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas that "a plea offer has been extended" to Timothy Depetris. 

Depetris has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree attempted murder, two counts of conspiracy and two counts of criminal solicitation in connection with his attempt to hire a hitman, while he was in the Niagara County jail, to kill his brother-in-law and a witness in the earlier shooting of his relative.

He has been jailed, without bail, since his arraignment on May 15 on charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree criminal use of a firearm, three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, six counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree criminal trespass in connection with the actual shooting of his brother-in-law in the early morning hours of March 26.

Farkas has dismissed six of those charges that were tied to the New York SAFE Act. All the charges were weapons related and involved the possession of a “large capacity ammunition feeding device” also known as a bullet clip or ammunition magazine.

The definitions of illegal magazines were suspended by an action of the state Legislature on March 29. Depetris was arrested with a large stash of weapons, ammunition and magazines on March 30.

The plea offer from prosecutors would require Depetris to plead guilty to a single count of attempted first-degree murder. Hoffmann also indicated that Farkas had agreed to cap Depetris' sentence at 20 years to life, the minimum possible sentence for attempted murder.

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