Albion man, 18, rejects plea to attempted burglary and will go to trial

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 February 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – An Albion teen was prepared to plead guilty today to attempted burglary in the second degree, a charge that carries a maximum of seven years in state prison.

However, Corey Baerman, 18, changed his mind and will now go to trial on May 6 for second-degree burglary, which carries a maximum of 15 years in state prison.

Baerman admitted he entered a neighbor’s house with three of his friends on Aug. 18. But Baerman said he didn’t take anything and didn’t cause any of the damage.

If that is true, Orleans County Court Judge James Punch told Baerman his crime should be criminal trespass in the second degree, a misdemeanor which carries a maximum of up to a year in the county jail.

Baerman of South Liberty Street said he entered a neighbor’s house without permission, following the lead of his friends, who allegedly caused damage and stole items.

One of those items, a stereo, was found in the bushes at Baerman’s home. His grandfather put the stereo on the porch after finding it in the bushes, Baerman said. Baerman said he didn’t know the stereo was left on his property by his friends.

Baerman, represented by attorney Michael O’Keefe, was going to plead guilty to the attempted burglary charge as part of an Alford plea, where he pleads guilty but maintains his innocence to avoid the more serious charge.

Punch said he didn’t think it was a prudent plea given Baerman’s plausible explanation. Baerman said there are witnesses who can testify about his innocence of the more serious burglary charge.