Niagara Gazette

Courts

June 25, 2013

Depetris opposes combining attempted murder and hit man cases

LOCKPORT — The attorney for a Falls man charged with both trying to kill his brother-in-law and then trying to hire a hitman to kill his relative and a witness to the crime, says he'll fight efforts to tie the two cases together.

Defense attorney Earl Key told Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas, during a hearing Monday, that a move by prosecutors to "consolidate" the two cases against Timothy Depetris was "premature."

"I don't think there are enough facts in the (prosecutor's) motion to support the request (to combine the cases)," Key said.

Key then told Farkas that he was going to ask for separate trials for Depetris on various charges lodged against him in the case relating to the shooting his brother-in-law, in his Hyde Park Boulevard business on March 26.

"I'm going to ask for a severance of several counts in the first indictment," Key told the judge. "So it makes no sense to consolidate (the two pending cases)."

In order to file his motions, Key said he would need to see certain evidence in the case as soon as possible. Farkas pointed out that prosecutors had agreed to share that material with Key very quickly.

Still, Key complained that prosecutors had not stated any "facts" to support their consolidation request. In response, First Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann told Farkas she would not be fling any additional motions until Key filed his.

"Do the best you can Mr, Key," was the judge's advice.

Farkas disclosed that prosecutors have made a request for a handwriting sample from Depetris. However, the judge also imposed a gag order on the lawyers in the case and barred them from talking to reporters about matters that relate to it.

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