Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

July 13, 2012

Pohl gets prison for beatings

By Joe Olenick
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A Newfane man will spend at least a decade behind bars for numerous attacks on his girlfriend last year.

Benjamin D. Pohl, 49, Coomer Road, was sentenced Thursday to 10-and-a-half to 21 years in state prison. In March a jury convicted Pohl on 10 counts, including four misdemeanor assaults, four felony criminal contempts, attempted second-degree assault and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.

Pohl was found guilty of beating his girlfriend four times in 2011, once on March 23 and three times between Sept. 28 and 29. Each assault violated a restraining order the woman had against Pohl. He is also a second felony offender, having been convicted of driving while intoxicated in 2005.

In one of the September attacks, the victim had said she had broken ribs from a previous attack. Pohl knocked her down and kicked her in the ribs.

"I think you're a bully," State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch said to Pohl. "As a kid, you were the one pulling the wings off of a butterfly. You're violent, so you should spend time with violent people."

Pohl was orginally supposed to be sentenced in May, but his attorney Frank Bogulski filed a pair of motions, which Kloch denied Thursday.

The first motion Bogulski made said Pohl did not have a chance to testify before the grand jury. Kloch denied the motion, citing law that said such a motion has to be made within five days of arraignment.

Bogulski said Pohl had a different attorney at the time who did not advise Pohl of the right to testify. Kloch said he believed Pohl's previous lawyer had been diligent, but any such concern was a matter for appeal.

Bogulski's second motion was jury misconduct, citing some jurors in the two-week March trial were asleep during proceedings. Kloch denied the motion, citing the jury was carefully monitored.

"I thought they were very diligent," Kloch said.