Tonawanda News

December 12, 2013

NT: Man who staged robbery sentenced to drug court

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — An Amherst man accused of staging an armed robbery Oct. 3 at a CVS store in the Mid-City Plaza will attend drug court as a part of a plea deal, according to Niagara County Deputy District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann. 

Kevin Spellane-Newman, 24, stole more than $3,700 from the North Tonawanda store on Payne Avenue during the phony robbery, before fleeing to his home in Niagara Falls, where he was later taken into custody by police on drug charges. 

He pleaded guilty this week to a third-degree grand larceny charge, leading Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas to sentence him to the judicial diversion program, Hoffmann said. 

Charges have yet to be determined for Spellane-Newman's girlfriend, Kayla Hotaling, of Doebler Drive, who was the only employee in the store when the staged robbery took place. 

"She doesn't have a court date yet," Hoffman said.  

Following the set-up, Hotaling told police that she was robbed at gunpoint, forced to open the store safe, then struck on the head before the thief, Spellane-Newman, escaped. 

The move caused several nearby schools in the North Tonawanda School District to go into lockout mode, as a police helicopter scoured the area for the suspect. Hotaling was sent to DeGraff Memorial Hospital for her supposed injuries and released, but was arrested later the same day for the hoax.