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Brooklyn man escapes felony charge in Canton break in

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CANTON — Failure to show evidence of intent caused a Brooklyn man to be cleared of felony burglary charges.

After a two-day bench trial, Marco P. Avedian, 27, of 277 Manhattan Ave., Apt. 1, charged with breaking into a village of Canton apartment, was found guilty of second-degree criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor, by St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards. Mr. Avedian was originally charged with second-degree burglary and criminal mischief.

Mr. Avedian, a SUNY Canton student at the time of the incident, was found on the kitchen floor of Lori Lichterman’s home at 68 Riverside Drive, Apt. 4.

Mrs. Lichterman took the stand Tuesday and said she had heard pounding on her apartment door 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 said he never had permission to enter her home. She said she fled to her bedroom, barricaded herself and called police.

The pounding at the door got lounder 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 that she believed Mr. Avedian had entered the home to cause her injury, but that the police arrived only seconds later.

Police reported that they found Mr. Avedian on the kitchen floor, asleep. 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.

St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Joshua A. HaberkornHalm said that while police may have smelled alcohol on Mr. Avedian, there was no evidence he was so intoxicated that 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, 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 he was released on was exonerated back to his parents.

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