Niagara Gazette

May 16, 2013

Man accused of trying to kill girl gets new lawyer

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Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A city man accused of trying to kill a 7-year-old girl on New Year's Eve has a new lawyer.

David L. Alfonso, 28, will be represented by attorney David C. Douglas, a switch that became official Thursday in Niagara County Court. Alfonso lost his attorney earlier this month because of a conflict of interest.

Assistant Public Defender Michele G. Bergevin was removed as Alfonso's attorney because a prosecution witness had once been represented by the Public Defender’s Office. The Niagara County Conflict Defender’s Office also had a conflict with Alfonso's case, so Douglas was appointed as Alfonso's attorney, said County Judge Sara S. Farkas.

Farkas told Douglas she revoked Alfonso’s telephone privileges at the Niagara County Jail, where Alfonso is being held, after it was reported earlier this month that Alfonso had been phoning the victim and her mother, trying to persuade them not to testify against him.

On Dec. 31, the Lockport Police Department said Alfonso had choked the girl until she blacked out, then tried to rip off the girl's jaw and rip out her teeth and tongue. Police said the mother apparently stabbed Alfonso in an attempt to stop the assault, but that it had no effect.

The victim's mother was not charged.

Alfonso was arraigned and indicted by a grand jury in February. He will return to court June 13 and has a trial date set for July 29.

In another case in Niagara County Court, a Cambria man was offered a plea that would have him plead guilty to second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class E nonviolent felony.

Kevin L. Stockburger, 52, of Shawnee Road, is facing charges that he was growing marijuana and had an illegal handgun. In September, Niagara County Sheriff's deputies reportedly found marijuana and a handgun in Stockburger's home.

Stockburger will return to court May 23.