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July 12, 2012

Crowbar-beating plea

Plattsburgh man willserve 14 years in prison

MALONE — Daniel DeCarlo II admitted Wednesday he tried to kill a romantic rival last year by beating him in the head with a crowbar.

The Plattsburgh man, 29, pleaded guilty in Franklin County Court to second-degree attempted murder, first-degree gang assault, first-degree assault and first-degree burglary in the attack on Jeffrey Durant, 32, on June 26, 2011.

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

Two accomplices, Brendon Collins, 20, and Todd Knudson, 20, both of Plattsburgh, had agreed to testify against DeCarlo at trial, which was scheduled to begin July 24.

A Huntley hearing in June was held to determine if statements DeCarlo had given police in a lengthy interview could be used against him at trial, and Franklin County District Attorney Derrick Champagne said Wednesday that County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr. had ruled that they could.

DeCarlo, who was a confidential police informant until his arrest, will be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 10 to 14 years in state prison and five years of post-release supervision.

Collins is expected to be sentenced to six years and Knudson to a term not to exceed 2 1/3 to seven years for their roles in the attack.

NIGHT-VISION GOGGLES

The three arrived in Malone from Plattsburgh at about 4:45 a.m. the day of the assault; District Attorney Derek Champagne said they all changed into old clothes supplied by DeCarlo. He also drew a map to the victim’s house and used a pair of night-vision goggles to lead the way, walking about 1.5 miles from the Malone Recreation Park to Durant’s home on Duane Street Road near the Malone Golf Club.

Durant was asleep on his couch when DeCarlo, Collins and Knudson came into the house through a sliding-glass door.

DeCarlo took out a crowbar that Collins and Knudson did not know he had, Champagne said, and struck Durant, who was awakened by the blow, got up and fought back.

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