LOCKPORT – A man who angered Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III by heading for Georgia after the judge freed him from jail for Christmas was sentenced Friday to the maximum of 3½ to seven years in state prison for burglarizing a Seneca Niagara Hotel room on Feb. 19, 2013.
Luke L. Lucas Jr., 31, of Ontario Avenue, Niagara Falls, had pleaded guilty Dec. 12 to third-degree burglary. A week later, Murphy freed him from jail without bail; Lucas said he would live with his mother in the Falls. But on his Feb. 14 sentencing date, Lucas failed to appear because he was stranded on a bus caught in a Georgia ice storm. Murphy issued an arrest warrant and Lucas was picked up 13 days later.
When Assistant Public Defender A. Joseph Catalano blamed Lucas’ crime on drug addiction, Murphy said, “He doesn’t follow the rules whether he’s using drugs or not.”
Lucas stole $153 and some credit cards from a Rochester woman in her hotel room in the Falls.