CORTLAND, N.Y. – A Cortland County man was found guilty Wednesday of third degree robbery following a three-day trial in Cortland County Court.
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Chad T. Cain was accused of robbing the Kmart store in Cortlandville on Oct. 24, 2014, and assaulting an employee in the process.
In addition to the felony count of third degree robbery, Cain was also found guilty of one count of petit larceny, a misdemeanor. Cain had faced more serious charges of first and second degree robbery.
During the trial, jurors heard testimony from two Kmart employees, who said Cain struck one of the employees with four toolbox sets as he tried to exit the store. Jurors were also shown surveillance video from inside the store on the day of the incident.
The two employees testified hearing Cain say he had a knife during the confrontation, though police never found a weapon.
Under state law, a person is guilty of robbery in the first degree when the person forcibly steals property and is either 1) armed with a deadly weapon; or 2) uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument. A person is found guilty of second degree robbery when the person forcibly steals property and causes physical injury to another person.
In his closing argument Tuesday, defense attorney Randolph Kruman argued that the prosecution lacked evidence that Cain possessed a knife, and that the jury should find him not guilty of first-degree robbery.
Assistant District Attorney Robert DeMarco told jurors that Cain announcing he had a knife should serve as sufficient evidence.
"What evidence is more compelling than the defendant himself telling you, 'I have a knife,'" DeMarco said.
On the charge of second-degree robbery, Kruman argued that Cain should also be found not guilty, stating that the store employee did not suffer serious injury during the incident.
Following Wednesday's verdict, Kruman indicated he was satisfied with the jury's decision.
"I think the jury made the right choice," Kruman said.
It's unclear how much time Cain will spend in prison. Under state law, a guilty conviction of third-degree robbery–a class D felony–can carry a minimum sentence of 1 year in prison and a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.
Cain is scheduled to be sentenced October 8.
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