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What you need to know for 04/23/2017

Man found guilty again in 2009 Larkfest stabbings

Man found guilty again in 2009 Larkfest stabbings

A Troy man whose initial conviction in the stabbing of three people during Larkfest in 2009 was over

A Troy man whose initial conviction in the stabbing of three people during Larkfest in 2009 was overturned has been convicted again.

Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares said today that Anthony Harden, 30, was found guilty Monday of two felony counts of second-degree assault.

Harden was found guilty of three felony counts of first-degree assault in February 2010 and sentenced to a total of 65 years in prison. That conviction was overturned in 2012 by the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, which ruled the trial judge improperly prohibited Harden from testifying in his own defense.

Harden now faces as much as 14 years in prison when he is sentenced July 24, Soares said.

Harden was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Veneliya Goodwin near Washington Park during Albany’s annual Larkfest celebration in September 2009. A group of people walking home from Lark Street — including a U.S. Army soldier and six University at Albany students — crossed in front of the vehicle as it was driving out of Washington Park at the intersection of Henry Johnson Boulevard and State Street. The pedestrians forced the vehicle to make an abrupt stop, which spurred the driver and Harden to engage in a verbal confrontation with the group.

Several moments later, Harden left the vehicle and pursued the group nearly 100 yards up State Street to confront them. Harden punched the soldier in the face, breaking his nose, then brandished a knife and made a long, deep cut in his stomach. Harden also stabbed the soldier’s twin brother in the trachea and another man in the abdomen. All three victims required surgery.

At his original trial, prosecutors portrayed Harden as the initial aggressor and said he told the group “I live for this” and “this is what I do” during the attack. The defense, meanwhile, called Goodwin and two eyewitnesses to testify in support of Harden’s justification defense.

That trial was heading to a charging conference — where the prosecution and defense meet with the judge to determine instructions to be given to the jury — when Harden proclaimed he wanted to testify. His attorney advised him against testifying, but said the court should reopen testimony if he wanted to take the stand. The trial judge denied the request.

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