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MASTIC BEACH/Man admits to shooting after high school game

A Mastic man who police said shot a teenager when he fired into a crowd following a basketball game at William Floyd High School in December 2008 pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree attempted murder.

Omar Tomlinson, 28, was promised a sentence of no more than 10 years in prison by Judge Gary Weber in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead. Prosecutors will seek a sentence of 18 years in prison when Tomlinson is sentenced April 8, a spokesman for District Attorney Thomas Spota said.

Tomlinson's attorney, Michael Castro of Smithtown, said he will ask for a lighter sentence.

"We're hoping Judge Weber will give Mr. Tomlinson some leniency," Castro said.

The shooting drew the attention of County Executive Steve Levy, who announced Tomlinson's arrest, five days after the shooting, at a news conference with police and school officials.

Authorities said Tomlinson was attempting to settle a score with an acquaintance when he shot a 9-mm gun into a crowd leaving a game between William Floyd and Mercy High School of Riverhead on Dec. 12, 2008.

The victim, 14 at the time, was not the intended target and had at least two surgeries to repair a broken tibia, police said in December 2008.

Tomlinson also pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree assault and weapons and drug charges. He was found with heroin and cocaine when he was arrested by federal authorities, the district attorney's office said. - CARL MACGOWAN


FREEPORT/Woman injured in Feb. 14 fire dies

A woman rescued by firefighters from her daughter's burning Freeport home on Valentine's Day has died from injuries sustained in the blaze, Nassau police said Thursday.

Juanita Williams, 74, was critically hurt in the fire where she lived on Lena Avenue, police said.

Freeport firefighters felt their way through thick smoke to rescue Williams, who was trapped in a second-floor bedroom as the house went up in flames, authorities said.

Williams, who lived in the home with her daughter and three grandchildren, was taken to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.

She died early Monday from "bronchial pneumonia resulting from smoke inhalation," police said.

The daughter, 40, her brother and three children - ages 12, 7 and 5 - escaped safely, Nassau police said. They were not identified.

It took about 100 firefighters around 30 minutes to contain the fire, officials said. The 2 1/2-story, Queen Anne-style home suffered extensive damage, police said.

The fire appeared to be an accident, possibly starting in a fireplace the family was using, police have said.


NEW YORK STATE/Former Senate leader's bid for new trial denied

A federal judge has postponed sentencing former New York Senate leader Joseph Bruno on two fraud convictions until May 6 and denied his request for a new trial.

U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe ruled that defense attorneys failed to show the evidence was either nonexistent or unreasonably meager and refused to vacate the convictions. "Where, as here, a defendant challenges a verdict, he bears a heavy burden," Sharpe wrote.

Attorney William Dreyer requested a monthlong delay to gather materials to present before sentencing, which had been scheduled for March 26.- AP

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