'Sleeper creeper' found guilty of all counts

February 27, 2018 08:40 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Ramiz Hajratalli is guilty of two counts of burglary and two counts of criminal mischief.

The so-called "sleeper creeper" case had gotten a lot of attention because people were scared by the circumstances: A man sneaks into homes and bedrooms, and watches people as they sleep.

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The 32-year-old was a supervisor with State Farm, but was let go when word of the arrest spread.

In August, Hajratalli was caught by a resident of a home on Jumel Place who happened to be a retired police detective who had a handgun within reach.

Paul Kisselbrack chased Hajratalli down the street and held him at gunpoint until police arrived.

"There's absolutely zero doubt that this man belongs where he is right now," Kisselbrack said after the verdict was announced Tuesday afternoon.

When police took Hajratalli’s fingerprints, they came up as a match to an unsolved burglary on Caroline Street a couple weeks earlier in which a man entered an apartment where a woman lay sleeping.

Before the trial, Hajratalli turned down a plea offer that would have sent him to prison for seven years.

The jury of eight men and four women rejected the claim by Hajratalli’s attorney, Kevin Luibrand, that police and prosecutors had the wrong guy.

The guilty verdict means Hajratalli could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison.

"I know some folks in my family will be resting comfortably tonight knowing that he's in jail," said Kisselbrack.

There were sobs and cries of racism in the courtroom as the verdict was delivered.

Hajratalli's mother screaming repeatedly, "It's not fair. It's an all-white jury."

"This was a fair jury, this was a fair trial," said Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen, "And at the end of the day, they didn't judge this case based upon someone's race, they judged the case based upon the evidence."

Judge Jim Murphy will sentence Hajratalli on April 26. The sentence will include submitting Hajratalli’s DNA to the national database.


Mark Mulholland

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