December 6, 2012

Crowbar accomplice to serve 1 to 3 years


---- — MALONE — A third person who broke into a Malone home where the owner was beaten with a crowbar last year has been sentenced to state prison.

Todd Knudson, 20, of Sharron Avenue, Plattsburgh, pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and was ordered to serve one to three years in prison by Franklin County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr.

He must also pay $484 in restitution for the June 26, 2011, break-in at the home of Jeffrey Durant on Duane Street Road near the Malone Golf Club.

Durant was asleep on his couch when he was beaten about the head and torso with a crowbar wielded by Daniel DeCarlo, 29, of Sandalwood Way, Plattsburgh.

Durant was dating DeCarlo’s ex-girlfriend at the time of the attack.

The victim suffered a 3½-inch skull fracture, 55 stitches to his forehead and back of his head, a broken nose and severely bruised shoulder, which now precludes him from participating in sports.


DeCarlo was sentenced to 14 years in state prison in August after pleading guilty to second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree burglary and first-degree gang assault.

Knudson, who agreed to testify against DeCarlo, and a third man, Brendon Collins, 20, of Plattsburgh, who also cooperated with prosecutors, came to Malone with DeCarlo from Plattsburgh that morning.

They used a map DeCarlo had drawn, as well as night-vision goggles, to make their way from the Malone Recreation Park to Durant’s home.

He managed to fight off his attackers and escape, and Collins and Knudson fled back to the Rec Park, where they arranged a ride home.

DeCarlo was found by State Police in the locker room at the Golf Club, soaking wet and wearing a trash bag over him like a poncho.

Collins, who held Durant in a head lock during part of the attack, was sentenced to six years in state prison after pleading guilty to first-degree burglary under Superior Court Information rather than a formal grand-jury indictment.


District Attorney Derek Champagne said Knudson cooperated with the investigation from the start, which is part of the reason he got a lesser prison sentence.

He was also very drunk and went along with DeCarlo thinking he was to be his backup in a fistfight in case DeCarlo was outnumbered.

“Here he is drunk, celebrating after finding out his girlfriend is pregnant, and he decides to go help be protection for a fight,” the DA said.

“But he goes and sees the victim getting beaten and says, ‘Wait a minute. This isn’t right,’ and takes off. This guy could be a candidate for ‘World’s Dumbest Criminals,’” he said.

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