LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The verdict is in on the third and final day of a quick Burglary trial for Christopher Bricks, 29, who was charged with Burglary in the Second Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree after taking a shotgun from a Dansville neighbor’s home in May 2014, which he considered payment for an unpaid debt from the sale of 7 grams of cocaine.
Bricks stood calmly beside his lawyer, John Darpino, with the Public Defender’s Office, and glanced back at his mother in the courtroom seat behind him when the note was passed to Judge Robert Wiggins from the jury indicating that they had arrived at a verdict, which was then announced as not guilty on Burglary 2nd, a C felony, guilty on Grand Larceny on the Fourth Degree, an E felony, and Guilty on Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, an A misdemeanor.
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“There is a chink in the armor of this case,” said Darpino in his closing statement, before the jury deliberated. “That chink is ‘permission.’ Mr. Bricks did not intend to commit a crime when he entered that house.”
Bricks said that the victim, Dawn LaForce, gave him permission to take the gun as payment for the $300 ‘8-balls’ of cocaine that Bricks allegedly gave her. As Judge Wiggins explained, the two components of Burglary 2nd are that the defendant enter a dwelling unlawfully, and intend to commit a crime therein. The jury did not find that Bricks’ taking the shotgun satisfied those two elements, but they did find that it did satisfy the elements of Grand Larceny 4th.
“When the defendant told Unk ‘I have something I have to get rid of in five minutes,’ his uncle asked if it was ‘hot,’ or stolen, and the defendant said ‘no,'” said District Attorney Greg McCaffrey in his closing statement. “His own uncle said he didn’t believe him. What does that say about the defendant’s credibility?”
Bricks was remanded to the county jail without bail following his conviction. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Wiggins in April.
DA McCaffrey indicated that he will be seeking persistent felony offender status for Bricks, making his sentence much harsher than for a first-time offender, as this is his fourth felony conviction.
PHOTO CAPTION: Christopher Bricks. (Photo/Livingston County Sheriff’s Office)