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Alleged burglar is actually ‘victim,’ Watertown attorney tells jury

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The defense attorney for a Glen Park man on trial for allegedly burglarizing a Watertown home and threatening a woman there with a knife claims the man was a guest at the home and was the “victim” of the ensuing violent confrontation.

Jack C. Yates, 57, is on trial in Jefferson County Court facing charges of first- and second-degree burglary, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree menacing. It is alleged that on May 9, 2012, in he unlawfully entered the East Hoard Street apartment of Kimberly Sargent and threatened her with a knife.

Assistant District Attorney Patricia L. Dzuiba said in her opening statement Monday that Mr. Yates went to Ms. Sargent’s residence because he was upset that she had ended a three-year, on-again, off-again relationship. “When it was finally really, really over, the defendant became enraged,” Miss Dzuiba told jurors.

She said she intends to prove that Mr. Yates entered Ms. Sargent’s apartment with the intent to commit a crime and proceeded to punch, choke and “stomp on” her before pulling a knife and threatening her.

But Mr. Yates’s attorney, Eric T. Swartz, Watertown, countered that Mr. Yates is only “guilty of having a broken heart.” “Mr. Yates’ only crime was falling in love with the wrong person,” he said.

He said Mr. Yates entered the house, “the same place he had entered a million times,” to talk to Ms. Sargent about their relationship. He said she had informed him recently she was ending the relationship because she had fallen in love with a woman who was a long-time friend of both of them. Yates. Mr. Swartz claims a fight ensued when Ms. Sargent attacked Mr. Yates.

“The evidence will show that Kim Sargent actually won the fight,” Mr. Swartz said in his opening statement.

He said Mr. Yates was “devastated” by the ending of the relationship, but the only person he threatened to harm with a knife was himself.

Testimony in the trial is set to resume this morning.

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