Schenectady County

Final defendant in violent 2007 home invasion pleads guilty

The final defendant in a violent 2007 home invasion pleaded guilty this morning in Schenectady Count

The final defendant in a violent 2007 home invasion pleaded guilty this morning in Schenectady County Court.

Marcus Smith-Hunte, 21, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree attempted burglary, a felony.

He is to get three years in state prison at his sentencing next month. The victim is not expected to speak at his sentencing.

The target of the January 2007 home invasion, Omari Lee, is currently serving a sentence of his own, up to life in prison, for the April 2007 murder of Xavier McDaniel at Jerry Burrell Park. The two incidents were not believed to be related.

In the January 2007 home invasion, Smith-Hunte was accused of being the driver who waited outside. Three others went inside the Prospect Street home on Jan. 10, 2007, looking for Lee.

A shoot-out followed, leaving one of the invaders critically wounded.

Justin Warren, then 22, who kicked in the door, and Daniel Riffas, 20, each pleaded guilty to burglary counts. The fourth man was Christopher Millington, 21, who was critically wounded with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

The extent of his injuries factored into a misdemeanor plea.

The four invaders allegedly were after Lee in retaliation for a slashing the month before. The long delay in Smith-Hunte’s case was due to charges in Florida, officials said. He wasn’t brought back until last fall.

In an interview days after the incident, Smith-Hunte denied doing anything wrong and said he believed the group had come to Schenectady to see some girls.

But in Schenectady County Court this morning, he admitted involvement. “You were the wheel man?” Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago asked.

“Yes, your honor,” he responded.

Smith-Hunte is to be sentenced May 15.

Drago, who had just been assigned to the case for the plea, asked prosecutor Peter Willis if there was a victim to be notified. Victims are traditionally given the opportunity to give an impact statement at sentencing.

“Do you anticipate a statement being made?” she asked.

“No, your honor,” Willis responded.

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