2 plead guilty and could be sentenced to state prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Two people pleaded guilty to crimes today and both could be sentenced to state prison by Orleans County Court Judge James Punch.

Richard Wheeler, 45, of Lockport pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the fourth degree. He could be sentenced to 2 to 4 years in state prison on Feb. 23.

He admitted he took checks from a local farmer, forged signatures and cashed them. As part of a plea today, he was ordered to pay $4,971 in restitution. Wheeler worked for the victim in the crime, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Wheeler has a prior driving while intoxicated conviction, making him a second felony offender. That means Judge Punch will have to sentence Wheeler to at least half of the maximum sentence, the judge said.

Punch on Jan. 1 set bail at $200,000 for Wheeler, who remains in the county jail.

In another case, an 18-year-old woman from Albion pleaded guilty to attempted burglary in the second degree, a crime that carries a maximum of 4 years in state prison.

Makaylee Maxwell of East Academy Street could receive a lesser sentence and be given youthful offender status when she is sentenced on Feb. 23. YO status would seal the crime from her record.

She admitted in court today she was part of a burglary in the Village of Albion on Aug. 18. Three others also were allegedly part of the crime. One of the alleged participants broke many antiques at the home on West Park Street.

Maxwell admitted to the judge she entered the house without permission and also took a DVD player and sold it at a pawn shop.