Bellefonte — Testimony concluded Thursday in the trial of three men accused of taking part in a burglary and armed robbery spree in and around State College.
Prosecutors called about 100 witnesses before resting their case Thursday evening in the trial for Maksim Illarionov, Dmitriy Litvinov and Anatoliy Veretnov.
The three are charged with having different roles in a crime wave that started with burglaries and escalated to armed robberies of people and businesses.
Defense attorneys for each man called four witnesses combined before resting their respective cases.
In contrast, the prosecutors’ case spanned four days. They called victims of the alleged crimes, jailhouse informants who testified they heard confessions from the men, and the confidential informant who led police to Illarionov.
Much of the testimony Thursday morning came in the form of an audio recording made by the informant, Lindsay Coatman. The tape allegedly documents the last armed robbery attempted by the group.
In March 2010, Coatman, wearing listening and tracking devices, drove Illarionov, Litvinov and a fourth man, Alexei Semionov, to a downtown State College restaurant they intended to rob.
The men arrived at their target too late, and Illarionov instead decided to rob a home, according to Coatman’s testimony.
On the tape, Coatman and the other men, who were waiting in the car, can be heard laughing, and referencing famed mobster Lucky Luciano and Dirty Harry. “Do you feel lucky, punk,” someone is heard saying.
Coatman said that, during the wait, Semionov became impatient, left the car and broke into nearby Centre Hills Country Club, where police arrested him.
A man, allegedly Litvinov, can be heard on the recording becomes frustrated with Semionov. “You are waiting for your brother (Illarionov),” he said. “He calls any second and we are out.”
Coatman testified Thursday he and Litvinov took off after Semionov was arrested. They eventually picked Illarionov up and returned to his home on South Allen Street, where police and SWAT were waiting.
Jonathan Sobel, Litvinov’s attorney, asked Coatman during cross examinations about his arrest in 2009 for possessing 70 marijuana plants at his home. Coatman pleaded guilt to a felony, but still hasn’t been sentenced.
“Three years from the date of your arrest, and almost two years since you pleaded guilty and you still haven't been sentenced yet,” Sobel said. “Do you know why it keeps getting continued? Is it because you are testifying here?”
Sobel also implied the terms of Coatman’s plea deal grant him a lesser sentence than the mandatory minimums for his charges.
Coatman, who said he and his family have received death threats, maintains he came forward because he felt it was the right thing to do.
Before resting, the prosecution also called back to the stand numerous area police officers who investigated the series of crimes.
They testified about finding items stolen in the various burglaries and robberies in Illarionov’s two apartments, his car and a storage unit he rented. They also found the assault rifles allegedly used in the crimes in Litvinov’s mother’s home.
Ronald McGlaughlin, who is representing Veretnov, and Sobel each called two witnesses. Illarionov’s attorney, Dan Nelson, rested without calling any.
Closing arguments in the trial are expected to begin at 8:30 a.m. today in the Centre County Courthouse Annex.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter