LOCKPORT – A Wilson man who served 24 years in state prison for felony murder was given the maximum sentence for felony driving while intoxicated – 1 1/3 to four years – Thursday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.
Joseph M. Gaines, 50, of Chestnut Road, was arrested Feb. 2 on Dickersonville Road in Lewiston. Defense attorney James J. Faso Jr. said another man had driven a truck into a ditch and left the scene, and a homeowner saw Gaines at the wheel, trying to extricate the truck from the ditch.
However, Murphy said Gaines threatened to kill the arresting officers, and told them that his girlfriend was driving. Gaines denied that.
“I’m not going to show you any sympathy. I’m giving you the maximum sentence. I don’t believe you,” Murphy told Gaines, who was convicted of felony murder in 1982 after taking part in the arson of a Niagara Falls store. A firefighter was killed fighting the blaze.