Judge rejects sentencing agreement for man who allegedly drove drunk into canal in August

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 December 2017 at 11:35 am

Provided photo: Lee Farley stands on a black pickup truck as it sinks in the Erie Canal on Aug. 17.

ALBION – A Niagara Falls man appeared in Orleans County Court on Monday, facing charges of driving while intoxicated, aggravated DWI and reckless driving after he drove into the Erie Canal in Medina on Aug.17.

Lee Farley was observed driving erratically on North Gravel Road from Ridge Road to the canal. He just missed hitting the lift bridge and utility poles by the canal. He took out a traffic sign and plunged into the canal with a black pickup truck.

He had the window down in the driver’s door and was able to get out. He was standing on the truck as it sank into the water.

Sara Sheldon, acting Orleans County Court judge, rejected a sentencing agreement in the case on Monday. Farley and his attorney, Johnny Destino, will be back in court on Dec. 18. Destino and District Attorney Joe Cardone will discuss a plea with a maximum sentence in the case and see if an agreement can be worked out.

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article said Judge Sheldon rejected a plea offer in the case, but she instead rejected a sentencing agreement.)

In two other cases on Monday, two women were sentenced for petit larceny for their roles in a truck break-in and the theft of $8,000 from that vehicle in Clarendon on Oct. 19, 2016.

Brionnah L. Raglan, 21, of Medina avoided jail and probation in the case. Sheldon sentenced Raglan to a conditional discharge. Raglan has paid $4,000 in restitution, even though she said she only received $20 in the theft.

Raglan told the judge she agreed to the restitution “to get it off my chest.” Raglan is working 60-65 hours a week at two jobs.

Jade Fayko, 21, of Holley also avoided jail, but was sentenced to three years of probation. She was ordered to pay $100 a month in restitution until she pays $2,666, or one third of the $8,000 that was taken.

A third defendant in the case, Devon Robinson of Rochester was previously sentenced to six months in jail for smashing the window of the truck and taking the money.

Robinson, 23, will also be on probation for five years after pleading guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny.

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