CANTON A New York City man who intruded into a Canton womans home in a drunken state avoided jail Monday after his victim said that serving time would not lead to his becoming a better person.
Marco P. Avedian, 27, Brooklyn, a former SUNY Canton student, pounded so hard on Lori Lichtermans door on Feb. 17, 2012, that he crashed his way in and wandered from room to room until he passed out on the kitchen floor of her residence at 68 Riverside Drive, Apt. 4. Mrs. Lichterman testified in August to barricading herself in her bedroom in terror that night.
Mr. Avedian faced 45 days in county jail and three years of probation for second-degree criminal trespass.
In St. Lawrence County Court on Monday morning, Mrs. Lichterman told County Judge Jerome J. Richards that although she still is affected by the ordeal, she believes Mr. Avedian should use this as a teachable moment.
I dont feel jail time would be conducive to him growing as a person, as it was recommended by probation, Mrs. Lichterman said. He should come back here once a year, for five years, to talk to students at SUNY Canton and Hugh C. Williams (High School) about the downfalls of drug and alcohol abuse and its impact on the community.
Mrs. Lichterman also said one night of partying and the excuse of being drunk should not be a get-out-of jail-free card, and she told Judge Richards she would like to receive letters from Mr. Avedian during his probation to learn how he is improving.
Mr. Avedian, when given the opportunity to address the court and Mrs. Lichterman, said waking up in jail the day after the incident and not knowing why he was there was the worst moment of his life.
Im ashamed and embarrassed at how alcohol played a role in my life, Mr. Avedian said. It was a stupid decision to get blackout drunk. Mrs. Lichterman, please forgive me when I say how sorry I am.
Judge Richards said he received a number of letters in Mr. Avedians defense, one of which was from his father, saying that jail time would destroy his sons life.
Thats simply not true, Judge Richards said, adding that jail time might wake the former SUNY student up to the realization that continued substance abuse will bring him back to court. Mrs. Lichtermans request, however, left the judge with a quandary.
Mrs. Lichterman said she didnt think jail was appropriate, Judge Richards said. That leaves me with the lingering question: What do I do with you?
Judge Richards sentenced Mr. Avedian to three years probation; as a part of his conditions of release, if the schools accept him, he is required to return to SUNY Canton and Hugh C. Williams High School every September for the next three years to talk to students about the negative impact that drugs and alcohol can have on their lives.
He also is required to write Mrs. Lichterman a letter every April and October for the next three years describing his personal growth during that time.
He also was ordered to pay restitution of $1,162.51 and $50 for DNA testing.