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A South Buffalo man pushed or tossed another man over a second-floor balcony after the two argued about money, a prosecutor said today in Erie County Court. But a defense lawyer called the fatal fall an accident.

Nicholas J. Finnegan, 26, was arraigned on a second-degree murder indictment.

Russ A. Ross, 28, of East Delavan Avenue, died 12 days after he fell at 3:30 a.m. Nov. 8 at 63 Kenefick Ave., said Assistant District Attorney Gary W. Hackbush.

Hackbush said Finnegan may have destroyed a camera on the balcony that might have recorded the incident.

Ross died Nov. 20 at Erie County Medical Center.

Defense attorney Daniel P. Grasso said Finnegan was not involved in what he described as an accident. He said Ross stepped back and went over the low railing.

The prosecution has a single witness who had a close relationship with Ross, Grasso said.

Grasso sought bail for Finnegan, saying he has no criminal record and could live with his mother or his girlfriend and his young child.

Hackbush revealed an order of protection against Finnegan, requiring him to stay away from the child.

Finnegan has been held without bail since an initial appearance in Buffalo City Court after his Dec. 5 arrest.

Judge Thomas P. Franczyk ruled Finnegan should remain in custody without bail.

email: jstaas@buffnews.com