Update: Jury Done For The Night
The jury in the murder trial of three Ogdensburg men ended day one of its deliberations just after 6 Monday night.
Jurors will resume their talks Tuesday morning at 9:30.
They began their deliberations at 3:15 p.m., but came back to court a little more than an hour later to have the testimony of Guy Bartlett read to them. That took more than an hour.
Bartlett was the roommate of the man the trio allegedly killed, 83 year old Ralph "Gene" Lawton.
Our report from earlier Monday...
Jurors in the murder trial of three Ogdensburg men began deliberations Monday at 3:15 p.m.
Lawyers presented their closing arguments Monday morning in St. Lawrence County Court.
The three defendants are accused of killing an elderly man during an alleged drug-related robbery.
Prosecutors claim 32 year old Anthony Lalonde, 26 year old Michael Thorpe and 30 year old Michael Durand all had a part in the death and robbery of 83 year old Ralph "Gene" Lawton.
"All three of these defendants were involved in this crime," said Chief District Attorney Amanda Nissen.
Defense attorneys questioned whether the three men could be linked to the crime scene.
Lalonde's lawyer, Lloyd Grandy, questioned whether his client could be placed in Lawton's apartment at the time of the November 18, 2010 crime.
Attorney William Galvin told the court the charges against Michael Thorpe were "false accusations" and that Thorpe and an alibi witness would testify he was at home eating dinner at the time the crime was committed.
Meanwhile, Durand's lawyer, Gary Miles, told jurors there was no direct evidence linking the Ogdensburg man to either the robbery or Lawton's death.
"You cannot find someone guilty of burglary or murder on blue eyes, a first name, some statement about a copper pipe," said Miles, suggesting that was the best evidence presented against his client during the trial.
During the trial Lawton's 66 year old roommate took the witness stand.
Guy Bartlett testified that Lawton was selling prescription drugs from the Ford Street apartment the two men shared.
Bartlett also admitted selling drugs to individuals when Lawton wasn't there.
Bartlett told the court he was in the apartment with Lawton when three individuals wearing masks and carrying a wooden club knocked on the door before entering the residence where a struggle broke out.
Bartlett testified he had "no idea" who they were and didn't recall initially telling police investigators he thought one of the suspects was wearing glasses.
Bartlett also told the court he fell on Lawton twice during a scuffle.
The first time, he said, he landed on Lawton's legs.
Two individuals picked him up and tossed him back down where he landed on Lawton's stomach.
Lawton later died of blunt force trauma to the chest.