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LOCKPORT - A California native pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court Monday to charges that he stabbed a man five times July 15 outside a North Tonawanda bar.
Joshua C. Oakes, 25, of River Road, Wheatfield, pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree menacing. Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said Oakes allegedly stabbed Paul Diesing of North Tonawanda three times in the torso and twice in the leg outside Ava's Place on Webster Street.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said Oakes is being held for violating the terms of his parole in another stabbing case, a California guilty plea to first-degree assault, reduced from attempted murder.
County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas increased Oakes' bail on the local charges from $5,000 to $25,000. Defense attorney Kevin Wolf said Oakes has been living in this area for about a year and a half and turned himself in. Donatello said there is a crime scene video showing Oakes drawing the sheath in which the knife was allegedly contained.