Accused Arsonist Appears in Court, Faces More Chrages
North Tonawanda, NY (WBEN) - Christopher Syracuse, the man accused of setting a string of arsons in the Tonawandas late Monday night, appeared in North Tonawanda City Court today.
There he was assigned a public defender, and waived his right to a felony hearing.
His Attorney, James Rizzo, explained the decision. "In talking to him, and also talking with some other lawyers in the office, the course we're choosing to take is to get it up to (Niagara County Court in) Lockport, prepare the defense, talk to him about some things that may need to be done to prepare this thing for trial," Rizzo said. "I don't know that a felony hearing in this particular case would present anything new that we don't already know."
Syracuse's case now goes to a grand jury in Niagara County Court.
"We just need to get him alone with us and talk to him about it a little more, and get it out of North Tonawanda, get it out of the public light a little bit so that we have a chance to talk to him in a quieter atmosphere." Rizzo expects Syracuse to be assigned a different public defender for his next proceedings.
Syracuse also learned on Thursday he will be facing more charges. City of Tonawanda Police announced that Syracuse is charged with arson in the third degree, two counts of Arson in the fourth degree, and two counts of reckless endangerment. He's scheduled to be arraigned on those charges next Thursday.