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Attempted burglary charges dismissed for NYC man

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CANTON — Attempted burglary charges against one of two New York City men accused of trying to break into a Massena home in December were dismissed Thursday in St. Lawrence County Court.

Devian J. Fletcher, 19, New York City, and Matthew C. Malu, 24, Yonkers, are accused of trying to confront Andrew Courson at his 26 Haskell St. doorstep about 11:30 a.m. Dec. 27. The suspects allegedly tried to open a door but found it locked, and Mr. Courson’s girlfriend, Amanda Parmer, reportedly told them to leave and said she was calling police. She said she saw Mr. Malu pick up a shovel and throw it through a kitchen window as the two were leaving.

Thursday afternoon, however, the charges against Mr. Fletcher were dismissed by County Judge Jerome J. Richards, after Assistant District Attorney Andrew T. Botts said he was unable to locate witness Trista LaDue.

“If she was available to testify, she could have given the judge more evidence about Fletcher’s involvement as an accomplice,” Mr. Botts said. “The right decision was made based on the evidence that came in the testimony of Andrew Courson and his girlfriend, Amanda Parmer.”

Mr. Botts said the testimony of Mr. Courson and Ms. Parmer went to prove only that Mr. Fletcher was physically present, but there was no evidence he made an effort to break into the residence.

Mr. Fletcher’s attorney, Mary E. Rain, said her client was being used as a political pawn, in an attempt to link him to convicted felon Patrick R. Lloyd. Mr. Fletcher is being charged in an unrelated incident with having shot at Mr. Lloyd for his involvement in attempting to kidnap Massena teenager Catherine A. Berry.

“The judge ruled properly and told them they couldn’t do that,” Ms. Rain said. “Whether someone tried to break into Courson and Parmer’s apartment has nothing to do with Lloyd. Even though he has shooting charges against him, this kid has no record.”

Mr. Malu is on trial on a single charge of second-degree attempted burglary. Jury deliberation begins this morning.

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