Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 12, 2012

Former justice facing charges

BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Former Somerset Town Justice Jeffrey P. Wick changed lawyers Wednesday, as he appeared in Niagara County Court on endangerment and criminal contempt charges.

Wick, 38, Shenk Road, Sanborn will be represented by Patrick Balkin. Wick has been charged with reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and first-degree criminal contempt. He was arraigned last week before Judge Sara S. Farkas.

New York State Police reported in June Wick allegedly pressed down on the accelerator as his son was driving on Route 31 in Cambria. He was also charged with violating an order of protection against his wife and son.

Balkin asked Farkas Wednesday for a reduced bail for Wick, who is currently incarcerated in Niagara County Jail. Balkin said Wick isn’t receiving all his psychiatric medications in jail and he asked for a lower bail so Wick could get back on them.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre told Farkas that Wick had been released from a hospital the day of the incident and was on medication. Balkin disagreed, saying his client told him he was not on medication the day of the incident with his son.

Farkas set bail at $50,000, much less than the original $200,000, but with a condition.

”He’ll have to wear an electronic ankle bracelet,” she said, adding Wick would pay for the service.

Wick was elected town justice in 2003, serving until 2005. He will return to court Dec. 12 and has a tentative trial date of Feb. 19.

In other cases before Farkas:

• A Cambria man with two previous driving while intoxicated convictions accepted a plea deal for his third DWI Wednesday in Niagara County Court.

Donald J. Rolfe, 54, of North Ridge Road, pleaded guilty to felony driving while intoxicated.

Rolfe’s attorney, Joseph Townsend, said that his client was the sole provider for a mother who has dementia, a sister and a seriously ill brother who he has been transporting for cancer treatments.

Based on that, Farkas said she was willing to agree to interim probation when he returns for sentencing on Dec. 12.

Rolfe was pulled over by Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies on Youngstown-Wilson Road April 29 and found with a blood-alcohol content of .2 percent. In 2006, the most recent previous case, he was convicted of a DWI in the Town of Porter and was put on probation and counseling for three years.

• Ronnie A. Koonce, 41, Robinson Road, will be screened for the court’s judicial drug diversion program.

Koonce said he was addicted to crack cocaine, which he had been using for about 10 years. He will return to court Oct. 30 to find out if he has been accepted into the program.

Last month, Koonce pleaded not guilty to three counts each of third-degree sale and possession of a controlled substance. The alleged drug deals occurred March 16, May 11 and May 21.

• Johnny Q. Russell, 18, John Street, was sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. to six more months of jail and five years of probation for stabbing a Lockport man.

Russell pleaded guilty to second-degree assault on Aug. 15 for stabbing a 17-year-old on June 10 on Elmwood Avenue. He is already in Niagara County Jail serving a year for burglary.

Russell was jailed on June 12 for attempted third-degree burglary in connection with a Sept. 23 theft of a PlayStation game system from a home on Cleveland Place.