Second teen spared jail in Island holdup
News Staff Reporter

A second Grand Island teenager Monday was spared jail and a criminal record for her role in a masked holdup at a Baseline Road restaurant in which she and her two accomplices wore horror movie costumes.

Krystal Rains was granted youthful offender status by Erie County Judge Michael F. Pietruszka and placed on probation for the next five years. She still faces shoplifting charges in Cheektowaga.

Rains pleaded guilty July 2 to a felony conspiracy count for the costumed heist at about 1 a.m. Feb. 9 at Cathy & Jim's Del & Herb's restaurant where she used to work. The crime occurred just two days after she turned 18. She will be spared a criminal record on her felony plea because of the youthful offender designation. Rains was also ordered to perform 150 hours of community service by Pietruszka.

The judge directed her to "stay away" from her two accomplices, Caitlin Connelly and Kandria Matthews, and from Cathy & Jim's. He also ordered Rains, who graduated from high school following the crime, to either maintain employment or continue with her education over the next few years.

Although Giovanni Genovese, Rains' attorney, told the judge the incident was the result of Rains' alleged "growing pains," prosecutor Glenn Pincus urged the judge to consider his full range of sentencing options.

On July 30, acting State Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. McCarthy granted Connelly youthful offender status, placed her on probation for five years, ordered her to stay away from her two partners in crime and ordered her to perform 50 hours of community service. Matthews, 19, described by McCarthy as the "agent provocateur" in the holdup, is free on bail. She faces a felony trial on conspiracy and menacing charges later this year before State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia.

According to police and prosecutors, the three girls carried a hammer and hacksaw and were dressed in black capes and hoods and wearing masks like those in the "Scream" movies. They ordered employees and patrons to get down on the floor before chef Michael Litzel grabbed a mallet and the girls fled. During their getaway attempt, their car ran over Connelly's foot. Erie County sheriff's deputies and Town of Tonawanda police quickly stopped the vehicle on the Youngmann Highway and arrested all three.