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Plattsburgh man sent to prison for role in home invasion

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MALONE - A Plattsburgh man was sent to state prison by Franklin County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr. on Monday for his role in a July 2011 home invasion attack.

Todd N. Knudson, 20, will spend the next one to three years behind bars after having previously pleaded guilty to a reduced count of third-degree burglary. He was also ordered to pay $483.83 restitution.

Knudson and Brandon Collins, 20, of Plattsburgh were accomplices to Daniel DeCarlo, 29, of Plattsburgh; the trio admitted they broke into the home of Jeffrey Durant, 33, in the early hours of June 26, 2011. DeCarlo then assaulted Durant with a crowbar and fractured his skull. Durant fled from the house, was picked up by a friend on county Route 25, and brought to Alice Hyde Medical Center for treatment. He was transferred to Fletcher Allen Healthcare in Burlington, Vt. with non-life-threatening injuries. District Attorney Derek Champagne said he has scarring, but no brain damage. The assault was fueled by a romantic rivalry – Durant had been dating DeCarlo’s ex-girlfriend.

DeCarlo is currently serving a 14-year sentence for second-degree attempted murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree gang assault, and first-degree assault at Great Meadow Correctional Facility. Collins is currently serving a five-year sentence at Washington Correctional Facility.

Knudson testified at DeCarlo’s preliminary hearing in August that he and Collins were picked up by DeCarlo in Plattsburgh on the night of June 25, 2011. He testified they were both intoxicated and did not know they were going to assault a sleeping man in his home, but rather thought they were going to backup a fight.

“Me and Brandon were supposed to be his [DeCarlo’s] backups,” Knudson testified at the hearing. “If it was just them two, we were gonna [sic] stay out of it.”

“There is sufficient evidence that they thought they were going as backup to a fight between two people,” Champagne said Wednesday. He added that neither Collins nor Knudson knew Durant.

He said Knudson was quick to aid law enforcement and evidence shows that he did not touch or hold Durant during the attack, whereas Collins did.

“All indications we have show Mr. Knudson immediately ran out the door,” Champagne said in a phone interview. “They [Knudson and Collins] clearly didn’t have the mental culpability to commit murder.”

He said DeCarlo had sent threatening text messages to Durant that escalated in their level of threat over the course of the night. He also came to Malone equipped with night vision goggles and a map to Durant’s house.

“DeCarlo stated he was going to kill anyone involved with the mother of his child,” Champagne said Wednesday.

DeCarlo was located by state police the morning of June 26. He was hiding in the locker room of the Malone Country Club soaking wet claiming he fell in the Branch Brooke while fishing, and later changed his story to he fell into the Salmon River while fishing.

In other county court business before Judge Main on Monday:

■ Mackenzie Durant, 29, of St. Regis Falls was sentenced to 180 days in the Franklin County Jail and five years probation for felony driving while intoxicated. She was originally charged in a grand jury indictment with additional counts of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, and uninsured and unregistered motor vehicle following a May 14 offense.

■ Shawn Woods, 39, of North Bangor was sentenced to five years probation and fined $5,000 for second-degree criminal possession of marijuana. he had originally been charged with two additional counts of endangering the welfare of a child stemming from an Oct. 2, 2011 offense.

■ Dominic Martin, 17, of Moira was sentenced to 180 days in the Franklin County Jail and five years probation for one count of fourth-degree grand larceny. He was also ordered to pay $5,070 restitution. He was originally charged in a grand jury indictment with two additional counts of third-degree grand larceny and also resisting arrest and unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21. The charges stemmed from a Jan. 17 offense.

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