Schenectady County

Man who lost fingers in home invasion sent to prison

A Troy man who had two fingers shot off in a Schenectady home invasion last year in which another in

A Troy man who had two fingers shot off in a Schenectady home invasion last year in which another intruder was killed was sentenced this morning in Schenectady County Court to 16 years in prison.

Charles Little III, 22, pleaded guilty Feb. 1 to two felony burglary charges for his role in a Jan. 19, 2007, armed robbery at 421 Division St. in which residents of the home shot and killed Aaron Peavy and wounded Little.

Thomas L. Brennan, 21, of 34 Glenwood St., Albany, the reputed mastermind of the planned robbery, was sentenced Feb. 22 to 15-1/3 years in prison on charges of felony conspiracy to plan a home invasion, attempted criminal possession of a weapon and attempted robbery.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Philip Mueller said Brennan recruited Little and Peavy and drove them to the residence, expecting to drive them back to Albany afterwards. However, the incident took a deadly turn when two of the home’s residents surprised Little and Peavy. One of the residents, Ralph Schulenberg Jr., fired at least five rounds from a high-powered rifle at the men. One round struck Peavy in the chest, killing him instantly, while a second blew off Little’s left index finger and thumb.

Brennan drove away from the house when he heard shooting. Little ran from the house, broke into a nearby home to treat his wounds and called friends in Albany to pick him up. Friends took him to a Troy hospital, where police interviewed him and later charged him in the home invasion.

Little has had two surgeries on the injured hand and has been healing well, according to his attorney, Michael Mansion. In passing down Little’s sentence, acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino said he felt Little had taken responsibility for his actions.

That sentiment was shared by Mueller, though he pointed out that came late in the process, as Little was already in the midst of trial when he chose to plead guilty.

Brennan claimed that he had for weeks purchased pounds of high-grade marijuana from Roy Schulenberg and resold it on the street and hoped to steal between 50 and 100 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of about $200,000.

Police never charged Roy Schulenberg with drug possession or sale after searching the house and finding no drugs. Ralph Schulenberg Jr. was not charged in Peavy’s death, either, after police determined he acted in self defense.

Check back with for more on this story or read Friday’s edition of The Daily Gazette.

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