Feedback: One Guilty, Two Not Guilty In Murder Case
A jury in Canton found one man guilty but acquitted two others Tuesday afternoon in the 2010 death of an Ogdensburg man.
Found guilty of murder and robbery was 32 year old Anthony LaLonde.
"Frankly, I'm surprised. I thought the evidence that went in made it clear that my client wasn't there on the night the event occurred," said Lalonde's lawyer, Lloyd Grandy.
Acquitted were 26 year old Michael Thorpe and 30 year old Michael Durand.
The verdict of the 9-man, 3-woman jury was announced a little before 1:45 pm, after the jury had deliberated Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.
Jurors had only been back from their lunch break for nine minutes when they sent word a verdict had been reached.
As the verdict wqas announced, Durand broke down crying, said 7 News reporter John Friot, who was in the courtroom.
Thorpe clasped his hands to his forehead, while LaLonde stared down at the defense table.
Thorpe was the only defendant released Tuesday afternoon.
"It's still unbelievable," said Thorpe, who thanked his lawyer before telling 7 News he wanted to go home and see his children.
Speaking to reporters, his lawyer, William Galvin, praised the jury.
Durand was sent back to county jail - he'll be sentenced May 20 on an unrelated burglary charge.
"We did have a couple of pretty good plea bargain offers on the table, but that in my experience, most clients would have taken. My fear in this case was that I had a guy who was not guilty and that he might be found guilty," said Durand's lawyer, Gary Miles.
LaLonde faces 25 years to life in prison when he's sentenced July 8. LaLonde was the only one of the three to be tied to the murder scene by physical evidence, a glove that had his DNA on it.
"It's obvious the jury worked hard. We're satisfied they did their job and the system worked the way it did and Mr. Lalonde got convicted," said Chief District Attorney Amanda Nissen.
Before reaching their verdict, jurors had the testimony of the only defendant who testified read back to them.
Jurors listened intently Tuesday morning while the testimony of Thorpe was read aloud.
Thorpe and the others were accused of killing 83 year old Ralph "Gene" Lawton during a drug-related robbery in November 2010.
Lalonde and Durand did not testify.
Thorpe testified he went to the victim's apartment to buy prescription pills before the robbery and denied having anything to do with it.
The jury started deliberating around 3:15 p.m. Monday.
Shortly after, they asked for testimony from the victim's roommate, Guy Bartlett, to be read to them.
Their deliberations continued until after 6 p.m. They resumed at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Saturday, March 8, 2014, Watertown, NY
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