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The Batavia man accused of punching another man resulting in a serious head injury pleaded not guilty to a felony charge at his arraignment in County Court today.

Shane Bell, 47, of Jackson Street was indicted on a second-degree assault charge for allegedly punching victim, 51-year-old Scott Baker, in the head as the two were leaving The Harvester bar on Harvester Avenue, Batavia in August.

The defense argued that due to some changes in circumstances, Bell’s bail should be lowered. The attorney argued that Bell scored high on the bail review, was offered employment in Monroe County for a construction business, and the condition of the victim had improved.

When called by WBTA today, Erie County Medical Center said they are not releasing patient information on Baker’s status, but District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said in court he was last told that Baker’s condition had improved and that he was now expected to live. However, Friedman said he was told Baker is still unresponsive.

Judge Robert Noonan said the bail was high ($50,000) for a second-degree assault charge partly because the condition of the victim was so bad that there was a chance he wouldn't survive his injuries. Ultimately, Judge Noonan said he would lower bail to $10,000 cash if Bell can prove he’s been offered employment.

Bell remains locked up in the Genesee County Jail.

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