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Brooklyn man escapes felony charge in Canton break-in

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CANTON — Failure of the St. Lawrence County district attorney’s office to show evidence of intent has cleared a Brooklyn man of felony burglary charges, a judge has ruled.

After a two-day bench trial, Marco P. Avedian, 27, who was charged with breaking into a village of Canton apartment Feb. 17, 2012, was found guilty of second-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor, by St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards.

Mr. Avedian originally was charged with second-degree burglary and criminal mischief.

Mr. Avedian, a SUNY Canton student at the time, was found in the home of Lori Lichterman at 68 Riverside Drive, Apt. 4.

Mrs. Lichterman took the stand Tuesday and said she heard pounding on her apartment door that night last year while she was lying in bed.

“I thought it was my husband and that he had forgotten his key,” Mrs. Lichterman said. But when she pushed aside the curtain, she said, she saw Mr. Avedian.

She testified that she had never seen Mr. Avedian before that moment and that he never had permission to enter her home.

She said she fled to her bedroom and called police.

The pounding at the door got louder and more erratic, followed by a crash and the sound of Mr. Avedian entering the apartment, Mrs. Lichterman told the court.

“I heard him walking through the apartment, and he stopped outside my bedroom door,” she said.

Mrs. Lichterman said she believed Mr. Avedian had entered the home to cause her injury.

Police reported that they found Mr. Avedian asleep on the kitchen floor. He was taken into custody without further incident.

Brooklyn-based attorney Abraham George, representing Mr. Avedian, argued that the district attorney’s office was unable to show any evidence of intent to burglarize the home or injure Mrs. Lichterman.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua A. HaberkornHalm said that although police may have smelled alcohol on Mr. Avedian, there was no evidence that he was so intoxicated he didn’t know what he was doing when he entered the home.

“We’ll never know what his ultimate criminal goal was because, lucky for Mrs. Lichterman, police responded quickly,” Mr. HaberkornHalm said.

Judge Richards agreed there was no evidence that Mr. Avedian entered the home with the intent to burglarize it or cause injury to Mrs. Lichterman; however, he said there was unequivocal evidence that he illegally entered the residence.

“Evidence supports that he went to the apartment door of Mrs. Lichterman and pounded on the door, and he made eye contact with Mrs. Lichterman knowing that he didn’t know her,” Judge Richards said.

Sentencing was set for Oct. 21.

Mr. Avedian was released on his own recognizance, and the $10,000 bond on which he was released was exonerated.

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