LOCKPORT – On Oct. 23, Michael D. Agee rejected a plea offer that would have given him a total of seven years in prison for a shooting, a robbery and an attempted robbery.
Thursday night, he had reason to regret his decision.
After 16 hours of deliberation over two days, a Niagara County Court jury found Agee guilty of trying to rob a Niagara Falls furniture store Dec. 17, 2010, and of robbing a food delivery man two nights later, both while armed with a handgun.
He could be sentenced to as long as 35 years in prison on those charges. County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas, who presided over the 13-day trial, scheduled sentencing for Jan. 24. He is in the County Jail without bail.
Still ahead for Agee, 19, of 16th Street in the Falls, is a trial set for April 22 on an indictment accusing him of shooting a man in the arm July 14 on Eighth Street, as the victim sat in a parked car. Conviction there could add an additional 25 years to Agee’s prison term.
Defense attorney Angelo Musitano, who said in open court Oct. 23 that he thought Agee should have taken the seven-year plea offer, told the jury of six men and six women that the issue was whether the robbery victims accurately identified Agee.
Assistant District Attorney Theresa L. Prezioso said they did, and at 9:35 p.m. Thursday, the jury agreed with her.
They found Agee guilty of attempted first-degree robbery for the incident at Rizzo’s Used Furniture on 18th Street, and of first- and second-degree robbery for the holdup of the delivery man at 16th Street and Cleveland Avenue.
However, the jury acquitted Agee of another count of second-degree robbery in the theft of the delivery man’s car.
In another case before Farkas Friday, veteran Niagara Falls burglar Edward D. Brundidge accepted a 15-year prison sentence in a plea deal stemming from a larceny and burglary spree between Sept. 15 and Oct. 4.
Brundidge, 53, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree burglary to wrap up the charges resulting from five house burglaries and five thefts from vehicles. He admitted specifically to break-ins at homes on Orchard Parkway Sept. 30 and Cedar Avenue Oct. 3.
Farkas will make the 15-year sentence official Feb. 7 and jailed Brundidge without bail in the meantime.
Brundidge, who was sentenced in 1996 to 13 years in prison for another burglary spree, took the deal in part because Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Scalzo agreed not to seek a potential life sentence. Brundidge, because of his criminal history, could have been classified as a persistent felon.
Scalzo said Brundidge also had to “agree to be debriefed regarding unsolved burglaries he may have been connected with in Niagara Falls. We’re not going to charge him with any of them; we’re just looking to close out some files.”
One of them is a Christmas Eve theft of a car stereo on Linwood Avenue in the Falls. Blood stains in the auto matched Brundidge’s DNA profile .